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John Roberts, Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court

I am a retired family man with 3 children and 9 grandchildren. Unfortunately, after a long illness, my wife passed leaving me a widower.

John Roberts Jr.  Chief Justice

John Roberts Jr. Chief Justice

John Roberts Jr is the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court and is the 17th man to hold that position (he was sworn in on September 29, 2005). He was born into a wealthy family and his father was a prominent lawyer. After graduating from Harvard Law School, he worked as a lawyer for several years before taking a government job as assistant solicitor general in 1981.

In 1992, President George H W Bush nominated Roberts to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. In 2003, he was sworn in as a Supreme Court Justice after being there only a few months and is viewed as a conservative judge.

On January 20, 2005, Chief Justice William H Rehnquist passed away from thyroid cancer at age 80. President Bush announced on July 19, 2005 that he would nominate John Roberts to succeed Rehnquist. He was confirmed on September 29, 2005 with a vote of 78-22 and became the 17th Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court.

On many occasions since his appointment, some described him as having a “limited view” of the constitution while others believed that his decisions would be guided by conservative ideals. At times his decisions are hard to predict as he will side with liberal justices on some issues.

Early Life

John Roberts was born in Buffalo, New York on January 27, 1955 to John and Rosemary Roberts. His father was a prominent lawyer who became the president of the American Iron & Steel Institute in 1962 at the age of 33. Growing up, John was an intelligent but unmotivated student. He graduated from La Lumiere School, a Roman Catholic boarding school in La Porte, Indiana after only three years instead of the usual four.

After finishing high school in 1973, he attended Harvard College and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He then enrolled at Harvard Law School where he was editor-in-chief of the Harvard Law Review, a position held by future President Bill Clinton and Justice Elena Kagan. He graduated from law school in 1979 with a Juris Doctor degree.

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Early Career

In 1979, Roberts was hired by the D.C.-based law firm Hogan & Hartson LLP as an associate attorney. In 1982, he became Special Assistant to the Attorney General at the U.S. Department of Justice. Two years later, he moved back to Hogan & Hartson and worked there for another nine years as a partner in the litigation department.


Government Service

In 1991, President George H W Bush nominated Roberts to fill a vacancy on the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; he was confirmed by the Senate and received commission on June 12, 1991. In 1993, Judge Roberts co-authored The Law of Judicial Precedent with Henry J. Abraham; the American Bar Association gave it an Award for Excellence as the best book on judging published in 1998 or 1999 (judges traditionally don't like to call such publications 'books').

In 2003, Judge Roberts was selected by President George W Bush to be an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court after the retirement of Sandra Day O'Connor. The Senate confirmed his nomination and he assumed office on September 29, 2005. He wrote more than 200 opinions during his first three years on the bench, only one of which drew a dissent; in this instance, he joined the four dissenters.

He is viewed as an 'originalist' like Justices Scalia and Thomas; his interpretation of the constitution often leads to conservative decisions. His rulings are sometimes very narrow and can serve to strengthen the power of corporations over individuals. Roberts is viewed by some as the least liberal Justice on the Supreme Court.

In 2007, he was chosen by his peers to manage the Supreme Court's internal operations and has been elected to a three year term. He also co-authored two books with Joel D. Aberbach: "Keeping Faith with the Constitution" and "A Public Faith." In 2017, Roberts said in an interview that he would like to improve the public's perception of the Court.

Personal Life

He likes to play basketball in his spare time and is an avid fan of the Washington Nationals baseball team. He lives with his wife Jane Sullivan Roberts, whom he met while studying at Harvard Law School, .He married Jane Marie Sullivan in 1996 and they have two children - Josephine and Jack

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2022 Mike Bouska

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