WASHINGTON (AP) _ Here are brief biographical sketches of the eight Supreme Court justices.

-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, 62. Appointed by President Nixon in 1972. Named chief justice by President Reagan in 1986. Regarded as the most conservative member of the court.

-Justice William J. Brennan, 81. Appointed by President Eisenhower in 1956. One of the two solidly liberal justices.

-Justice Thurgood Marshall, 79. Appointed by President Johnson in 1967. With Brennan, the other reliably liberal vote.

-Justice Byron R. White, 70. Appointed by President Kennedy in 1962. Generally lines up with the conservatives on criminal justice and affirmative action issues but has been a swing vote in other civil rights cases.

-Justice Harry A. Blackmun, 78. Appointed by Nixon in 1970. A moderate who has joined the liberals more often than not in recent years. Best known for his opinion for the court legalizing abortion in 1973.

-Justice John Paul Stevens, 67. Appointed by President Ford in 1975. A moderate who has leaned toward the liberals most often in key cases. Regarded also as a maverick whose views sometimes are independent of either wing of the court.

-Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, 57. Appointed the first woman on the court by Reagan in 1981. Generally allied with the conservatives, but has steered an independent course in some major rulings, most notably in upholding affirmative action.

-Justice Antonin Scalia, 51. Appointed by Reagan in 1986. The newest member of the court has proven, as expected, to be conservative on most issues in his first term. Surprised some by voting with the liberals in a handful of key cases.