39 Facts About Chief Justice John Roberts


Chief Justice John Roberts has been described as having a conservative judicial philosophy but, above all, as an institutionalist.

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Chief Justice John Roberts has shown a willingness to work with the Supreme Court's liberal bloc, and after the retirement of Anthony Kennedy in 2018, he has been regarded as the primary swing vote on the Court.

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Chief Justice John Roberts grew up in northwestern Indiana and was educated in Catholic schools.

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Chief Justice John Roberts studied history at Harvard University and then attended Harvard Law School, where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.

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Chief Justice John Roberts served as a law clerk for Circuit Judge Henry Friendly and then-associate justice William Rehnquist before taking a position in the attorney general's office during the Reagan Administration.

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Chief Justice John Roberts's father had Irish and Welsh ancestry, and his mother was a descendant of Slovak immigrants from Szepes, Hungary.

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Chief Justice John Roberts has an elder sister, Kathy, and two younger sisters, Peggy and Barbara.

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Chief Justice John Roberts spent his early childhood years in Hamburg, New York, where his father worked as an electrical engineer for the Bethlehem Steel Corporation at its large factory in Lackawanna.

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Chief Justice John Roberts attended La Lumiere School, a small but affluent and academically rigorous Catholic boarding school in La Porte, Indiana, where he was captain of the school's football team and was a regional champion in wrestling.

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Chief Justice John Roberts participated in choir and drama, and co-edited the school newspaper.

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Chief Justice John Roberts then studied history at Harvard University, entering with sophomore standing based on his high academic achievement in high school.

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Chief Justice John Roberts served as the acting solicitor general for the case of Metro Broadcasting, Inc v FCC when the solicitor general, Ken Starr, had a conflict of interest.

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Chief Justice John Roberts became the head of the firm's appellate practice, and became an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center.

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Chief Justice John Roberts represented 19 states in United States v Microsoft.

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In 2000, Chief Justice John Roberts advised Jeb Bush, then governor of Florida, concerning Bush's actions in the Florida election recount during the presidential election.

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Chief Justice John Roberts was confirmed on May 8,2003, and received his commission on June 2,2003.

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Chief Justice John Roberts sued, alleging that an adult would have only received a citation for the same offense, while children must be detained until parents are notified.

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In Hamdan v Rumsfeld, Roberts was part of a unanimous circuit panel overturning the district court ruling and upholding military tribunals set up by the Bush Administration for trying terrorism suspects known as enemy combatants.

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Chief Justice John Roberts's nomination was the first Supreme Court nomination since Stephen Breyer in 1994.

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Chief Justice John Roberts stated the following about federalism in a 1999 radio interview:.

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Chief Justice John Roberts Holmes described assessing the constitutionality of an act of Congress as the gravest duty that the Supreme Court is called upon to perform.

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At his nomination hearing Chief Justice John Roberts testified that the legal memos represented the views of the administration he was representing at the time and not necessarily his own.

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Bush Administration, Roberts signed a legal brief urging the court to overturn Roe v Wade.

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In private meetings with senators before his confirmation, Chief Justice John Roberts testified that Roe was settled law, but added that it was subject to the legal principle of stare decisis, meaning that while the Court must give some weight to the precedent, it was not legally bound to uphold it.

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Chief Justice John Roberts appears to place great stock in the process-oriented tools and doctrinal rules that guard against the aggregation of judicial power and keep judicial discretion in check: jurisdictional limits, structural federalism, textualism, and the procedural rules that govern the scope of judicial review.

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On January 17,2006, Roberts dissented along with Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas in Gonzales v Oregon, which held that the Controlled Substances Act does not allow the United States attorney general to prohibit physicians from prescribing drugs for the assisted suicide of the terminally ill as permitted by an Oregon law.

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On March 6,2006, Roberts wrote the unanimous decision in Rumsfeld v Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights that colleges accepting federal money must allow military recruiters on campus, despite university objections to the Clinton Administration-initiated "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

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Chief Justice John Roberts criticized the majority opinion as inconsistent with prior case law and for partly basing its reasoning on its perception of social custom.

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Chief Justice John Roberts said the social expectation test was flawed because the Fourth Amendment protects a legitimate expectation of privacy, not social expectations.

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In 2022, Roberts declined to join the majority opinion in Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned Roe v Wade.

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Chief Justice John Roberts wrote a concurring opinion supporting only the decision to uphold the Mississippi abortion statute, stating that the right to an abortion should "extend far enough to ensure a reasonable opportunity to choose, but need not extend any further".

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Chief Justice John Roberts opposes the use of race in assigning students to particular schools, including for purposes such as maintaining integrated schools.

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Chief Justice John Roberts sees such plans as discrimination in violation of the Constitution's Equal Protection Clause and Brown v Board of Education.

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In Pavan v Smith, the Supreme Court "summarily overruled" the Arkansas Supreme Court's decision that the state did not have to list same-sex spouses on birth certificates; Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, and Neil Gorsuch dissented, but Roberts did not join their dissent, leaving open speculation that he might have ruled with the majority.

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In October 2020, Roberts joined the justices in an "apparently unanimous" decision to reject an appeal from Kim Davis, who refused to provide marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

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In Shelby County v Holder, Roberts struck down requirements that states and localities with a history of racially motivated voter suppression obtain federal preclearance before implementing any changes to voting laws.

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In 2007, Chief Justice John Roberts had a seizure at his vacation home in St George, Maineand stayed overnight at a hospital in Rockport, Maine;doctors found no identifiable cause.

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On June 21,2020, Chief Justice John Roberts fell at a Maryland country club; his forehead required sutures and he stayed overnight in the hospital for observation.

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In 2010, Chief Justice John Roberts sold his stock in Pfizer because he was set to hear two pending cases involving the company.

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