5. Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor
Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor
Supreme Court Justices
Last year's rank: 10

The two newest additions to the bench are only the third and fourth women to serve on it. The Obama appointees have emerged as a pair of reliably liberal votes, coming down on the same side of 94 percent of the opinions in the last term. And both have established outspoken personas, speeding the pace of arguments with assertive questioning and crafting sharply worded dissents to decisions by the conservative majority.

Last updated September 29 2011: 3:11 PM ET