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Chief Justice John G. Roberts Esq.

Self Description

December 2005: "Chief Justice of the United States, was born in Buffalo, New York, January 27, 1955. He married Jane Marie Sullivan in 1996; they have two children— Josephine and John. He received an A.B. from Harvard College in 1976 and a J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1979. He served as a law clerk for Henry J. Friendly of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1979–1980 and as a law clerk for thenAssociate Justice William H. Rehnquist of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1980 Term. He was Special Assistant to the Attorney General, U.S. Department of Justice from 1981–1982, Associate Counsel to President Ronald Reagan, White House Counsel’s Office from 1982–1986, and Principal Deputy Solicitor General, U.S. Department of Justice from 1989–1993. From 1986–1989 and 1993–2003, he practiced law in Washington, D.C. He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 2003. President George W. Bush nominated him as Chief Justice of the United States, and he took his seat on September 29, 2005. "

Third-Party Descriptions

September 2016: 'The court moved the goal posts and then hobbled the prosecutors. Bondi is the real winner. What the court was really worried about in McDonnell was criminalizing routine acts of governance. As Chief Justice John Roberts explained, the former governor was just doing what politicians do: “Conscientious public officials arrange meetings for constituents, contact other officials on their behalf, and include them in events all the time. Representative government assumes that public officials will hear from their constituents and act appropriately on their concerns.” Shorter version: Governors gonna govern. But of course, Trump was not Bondi’s constituent, and pulling out of a massive lawsuit isn’t the same as golfing with a rich donor.'

July 2013: "Created by Congress in 1978 as a check against wiretapping abuses by the government, the court meets in a secure, nondescript room in the federal courthouse in Washington. All of the current 11 judges, who serve seven-year terms, were appointed to the special court by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and 10 of them were nominated to the bench by Republican presidents. Most hail from districts outside the capital and come in rotating shifts to hear surveillance applications; a single judge signs most surveillance orders, which totaled nearly 1,800 last year. None of the requests from the intelligence agencies was denied, according to the court."

June 2013: '“Our country has changed,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority. “While any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problem speaks to current conditions.”'

June 2013: "The vote in the California case was also 5 to 4, but with a different and very unusual alignment of justices. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote the majority opinion, and he was joined by Justice Scalia and Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Elena Kagan. The four dissenters — Justice Kennedy and Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Sonia Sotomayor — said they would have decided whether Proposition 8 was constitutional. But they did not say how they would have voted."

April 2012: '"The interest of society in the enforcement of employment discrimination statutes is undoubtedly important," Chief Justice John Roberts said at the time. "But so too is the interest of religious groups in choosing who will preach their beliefs, teach their faith and carry out their mission."'

February 2012: 'Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has been particularly skeptical of government programs that take account of race. “Racial balancing is not transformed from ‘patently unconstitutional’ to a compelling state interest simply by relabeling it ‘racial diversity,’ ” he wrote in a 2007 decision limiting the use of race to achieve integration in public school districts.'

June 2011: "Chief Justice Roberts said that all escalating matching funds placed an unconstitutional burden on politicians who chose not to participate. But he added that Arizona’s system also created problematic asymmetries and anomalies. Candidates with several opponents could generate multiple subsidies every time they spent money, and spending from unaffiliated supporters could do the same."

June 2011: "Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., in a concurrence joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., voted with the majority but did not adopt its reasoning. Justice Alito said the California law was too vague. A more carefully worded law, he wrote, might survive constitutional scrutiny."

June 2011: 'The “general rule,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority in a 7-to-2 decision, is that “rights in an invention belong to the inventor,” even if created on an employer’s watch. (Outside the patent context, Chief Justice Roberts said, the basic rule often goes the other way. “No one would claim,” he wrote, “that an autoworker who builds a car while working in a factory owns that car.”)'

May 2011: "In a second dissent, Justice Alito, joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., addressed what he said would be the inevitable impact of the majority decision on public safety in California."

June 2010: "Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority in the 6-to-3 decision, said the law’s prohibition of providing some types of intangible assistance to groups the State Department says engage in terrorism did not violate the First Amendment."

June 2010: 'Public disclosure "helps ensure that the only signatures counted are those that should be, and that the only referenda placed on the ballot are those that garner enough valid signatures," wrote Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. "Public disclosure also promotes transparency and accountability in the electoral process to an extent other measures cannot."'

May 2010: "Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined them in rejecting the outcome of Graham's case, saying the sentence was so harsh as to be unconstitutional. But he did not agree with the majority's broader pronouncement on life sentences, and said decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis."

April 2010: '“When Justice Rehnquist went on the court, a minority of the justices had been former federal judges,” Chief Justice Roberts said. “Today, for the first time in its history, every member of the court was a federal court of appeals judge before joining the court — a more legal perspective and less of a policy perspective.”'

April 2010: 'The government argued that depictions showing harm to animals were of such minimal social worth that they should receive no First Amendment protection at all. Chief Justice Roberts roundly rejected that assertion. “The First Amendment means that government has no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter or its content,” he wrote.'

April 2010: 'Chief Justice Roberts said the combination of the two policies might be enough to give Sergeant Quon a reasonable expectation of privacy under the Fourth Amendment. “I think if I pay for it,” the chief justice said, “it’s mine and not the employer’s.”'

March 2010: 'Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said last week that Obama's use of the address to criticize the court -- six of the nine black-robed justices were at the front of the House chamber -- was "very troubling." Roberts questioned whether the court should continue to attend what he described as a "political pep rally."'

March 2010: 'Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. seemed to say that ruling that the Second Amendment is "incorporated" to apply to state and local governments in establishing a fundamental right to gun ownership would be just the first step in eventually deciding myriad issues relating to gun control.'

June 2009: 'A decision concurring in part and dissenting in part was written by Justice Clarence Thomas and was joined by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Samuel A. Alito Jr., a group that did not share Justice Scalia’s view through the clouded lens of history. “The statutory term ‘visitorial powers’ is susceptible to more than one meaning,” Justice Thomas wrote, “and the agency’s construction is reasonable” and thus should be deferred to.'

November 2008: 'Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. asked whether the commission's crackdown on indecent language is "accomplishing very much" when so many other media -- such as cable TV and the Internet -- are outside the commission's reach.'

July 2008: 'In June of last year, a conservative majority of the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision, declared the racial-integration efforts of two school districts unconstitutional. Seattle and Louisville, Ky., could no longer assign students to schools based on their race, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his lead opinion in Meredith v. Jefferson County School Board (and its companion case, Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1). Justice Stephen Breyer sounded a sad and grim note of dissent. Pointing out that the court was rejecting student-assignment plans that the districts had designed to stave off de facto resegregation, Breyer wrote that “to invalidate the plans under review is to threaten the promise of Brown.” By invoking Brown v. Board of Education, the court’s landmark 1954 civil rights ruling, Breyer accused the majority of abandoning a touchstone in the country’s efforts to overcome racial division. “This is a decision that the court and the nation will come to regret,” he concluded.'

July 2008: "The Supreme Court has in recent years whittled away at the exclusionary rule by limiting its applicability and creating exceptions to it. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Antonin Scalia, neither of whom is enamored of the citation of foreign law, each noted in recent decisions that the American approach in this area is unique and has been universally rejected elsewhere."

June 2008: "The 6-to-3 decision, with an opinion by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., rejected the argument that an individual employee who is not the victim of group-based discrimination can nonetheless suffer a denial of equal protection within the meaning of the 14th Amendment."

June 2008: 'And when a government lawyer said that putting money in a suitcase in a car’s trunk might be evidence of a “design to conceal,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said, “When I use a suitcase, I’m using it to carry my clothes, not to conceal them.”'

May 2008: 'In a dissenting opinion, Roberts wrote: "Protection against discrimination may include protection against retaliation for complaining about discrimination, but that is not always the case." He argued that "Congress has always protected federal employees from retaliation through the established civil service process." The age discrimination act's language makes clear that lawmakers "did not intend those employees to have a separate judicial remedy for retaliation under the ADEA," he wrote.'

April 2008: 'In an opinion joined by Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Samuel A. Alito Jr., Roberts wrote that the petitioners, two convicted murderers sentenced to death in Kentucky state court, had not proved that "the risk of pain from maladministration of a concededly humane lethal injection protocol, and the failure to adopt untried and untested alternatives, constitute cruel and unusual punishment."'

March 2008: "the Supreme Court will have an opportunity this week that is almost unique for a modern court when it examines whether the District's handgun ban violates the Second Amendment....The case could be a revealing test of the court headed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. Roberts came to the bench saying justices should decide cases as narrowly as possible, but last year he was part of a slim majority that made bold breaks with the court's jurisprudence in cases both recent and old, on issues such as school integration and abortion."

March 2008: 'Chief Justice John Roberts, who once practiced corporate law, asked, “So what can a corporation do to protect itself against punitive damages awards such as this?” The court has been on a campaign to strike down large awards of punitive damages against corporations, but the lawyer for the oil spill’s victims, Professor Jeffrey Fisher of Stanford Law School, had the answer: “It can hire fit and competent people.”'

February 2008: 'Although the chief justice’s initial questions during the argument suggested that he supported the government, he later appeared to share the mounting skepticism of his colleagues. When Ms. Schertler said that putting money in a suitcase in a car’s trunk might be evidence of a “design to conceal,” Chief Justice Roberts said: “When I use a suitcase, I’m using it to carry my clothes, not to conceal them.”'

February 2008: "Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wondered whether the court's respect for stare decisis should extend to cases it believes were wrongly decided, and Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said he could not find a way to read the law that gave plaintiffs the right they wanted."

January 2008: "Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. were equally skeptical. Roberts said removing the second drug from the protocol or going to a one-drug method would lead to more litigation from those questioning a new procedure."

November 2007: The justices also seemed to want to shield employees from the consequences of the commission’s failure to follow the letter of the law. “I just don’t understand your leap from government incompetence to saying the plaintiff loses,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said to Ms. Lensing.

October 2007: And the very issue of whether American judges should ever take account of foreign law is hotly disputed. At the hearings on their Supreme Court nominations, both John G. Roberts Jr. and Samuel A. Alito Jr. said they thought it a mistake to consider foreign law in constitutional cases.

October 2007: At his Supreme Court confirmation hearing two years ago, Judge John G. Roberts Jr. was asked what he would do “if you had four other justices now voting for a stay of execution?”

September 2007: But that approach runs counter to the limited role for judges embraced by Chief Justice John Roberts and arguments by the solicitor general that judges have no business second-guessing presidential decisions concerning intelligence and war-fighting matters

September 2007: The business community is scrambling to fight what would be the first legislative initiative of the Democratically controlled Congress to overturn a decision by the emerging conservative majority on the court, headed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.

August 2007: "For those reviewing the White Plains plan, the chink in the legal armor is that race is the bottom-line determinant, and in the Supreme Court decision, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. ruled that race-consciousness violated the 14th Amendment....even Chief Justice Roberts said race could be one of a mix of student attributes considered, just as it was in the admissions plan at the University of Michigans law school that the court upheld in 2003.

May 2003: Nominated by President George W. Bush for a federal court position.


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Student/Trainee (past or present) Harvard University Organization Dec 2, 2005
Organization Executive (past or present) Justice Department/Department of Justice (DOJ) Organization Dec 2, 2005
Organization Executive (past or present) Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) Organization
Organization Head/Leader (past or present) US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Organization Sep 29, 2005
Appointed/Selected by President George W. Bush Person May 14, 2006
Subordinate of (past or present) Successor to Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist Esq. Person May 14, 2006
Advised by (past or present) Sen. Fred Dalton Thompson Esq. Person Nov 3, 2007

Articles and Resources

113 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 20]   [End]

Date Resource Read it at:
Sep 08, 2016 Why Donald Trump and Pam Bondi Probably Won’t Face a Corruption Investigation: The Supreme Court’s McDonnell decision seems to have put a chill on prosecutors.

QUOTE: Why is a charity giving money to aid a pol with whom the foundation’s head has pending legal business?....Reading through the court’s language in McDonnell, the easier hurdle is “official acts.” The justices were not certain that McDonnell’s various phone calls and luncheons represented official acts...

Jun 23, 2016 Supreme Court Tie Blocks Obama Immigration Plan

QUOTE: The Supreme Court announced on Thursday that it had deadlocked in a case challenging President Obama’s immigration plan, effectively ending what Mr. Obama had hoped would become one of his central legacies. The program would have shielded as many as five million undocumented immigrants from deportation and allowed them to legally work in the United States. The 4-4 tie, which left in place an appeals court ruling blocking the plan, amplified the contentious election-year debate over the nation’s immigration policy and presidential power.

New York Times
Jul 06, 2013 In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.

QUOTE: In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks...

New York Times
Jun 26, 2013 Supreme Court Bolsters Gay Marriage With Two Major Rulings

QUOTE: In a pair of major victories for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there. The rulings leave in place laws banning same-sex marriage around the nation, and the court declined to say whether there was a constitutional right to such unions.

New York Times
Jun 25, 2013 Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act

QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Tuesday effectively struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a 5-to-4 vote, freeing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval. The court divided along ideological lines, and the two sides drew sharply different lessons from the history of the civil rights movement and the nation’s progress in rooting out racial discrimination in voting. At the core of the disagreement was whether racial minorities continued to face barriers to voting in states with a history of discrimination.

New York Times
Apr 26, 2012 Teacher who was fired after fertility treatments sues diocese

QUOTE: ...Herx's case bears some of the hallmarks of the case of Cheryl Perich, a former teacher who was fired from a religious school in Michigan after taking a medical leave of absence in 2004. At issue was whether the Americans with Disabilities Act applies to hiring and firing decisions involving "ministerial employees," such as teachers who teach secular subjects. The U.S. Supreme Court decided that Perich -- who taught secular subjects along with a religion class -- was considered a "minister" and could in fact be fired based on church doctrine.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Feb 21, 2012 Justices Take Up Race as a Factor in College Entry

QUOTE: In a 2003 decision that the majority said it expected would last for 25 years, the Supreme Court allowed public colleges and universities to take account of race in admission decisions...By agreeing to hear a major case involving race-conscious admissions at the University of Texas, the court thrust affirmative action back into the public and political discourse after years in which it had mostly faded from view.

New York Times
Jan 23, 2012 Justices Say GPS Tracker Violated Privacy Rights

QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Monday ruled unanimously that the police violated the Constitution when they placed a Global Positioning System tracking device on a suspect’s car and monitored its movements for 28 days. A set of overlapping opinions in the case collectively suggested that a majority of the justices are prepared to apply broad privacy principles to bring the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches into the digital age...

New York Times
Jun 27, 2011 Justices Reject Ban on Violent Video Games for Children

QUOTE: Justice Antonin Scalia, writing for five justices in the majority in the video games decision, Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association, No. 08-1448, said video games were subject to full First Amendment protection. “Like the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas — and even social messages — through many familiar literary devices (such as characters, dialogue, plot and music) and through features distinctive to the medium...

New York Times
Jun 27, 2011 Justices Strike Down Arizona Campaign Finance Law

QUOTE: the Supreme Court on Monday struck down an Arizona law that provided escalating matching funds to candidates who accept public financing...The majority said the law violated the First Amendment rights of candidates who raise private money.

New York Times
Jun 06, 2011 Supreme Court Rules for Drug Firm in a Patent Dispute

QUOTE: The “general rule,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote for the majority in a 7-to-2 decision, is that “rights in an invention belong to the inventor,” even if created on an employer’s watch.

New York Times
May 23, 2011 Justices, 5-4, Tell California to Cut Prisoner Population

QUOTE: Conditions in California’s overcrowded prisons are so bad that they violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment, the Supreme Court ruled on Monday, ordering the state to reduce its prison population by more than 30,000 inmates.

New York Times
Mar 02, 2011 Supreme Court rules for anti-gay church over military funeral protests

QUOTE: A Kansas church known for its angry, anti-gay protests at funerals of U.S. troops won an appeal Wednesday at the Supreme Court in a case testing the competing constitutional rights of free speech and privacy. In an 8-1 ruling, the justices said that members of Westboro Baptist Church had a right to promote what they call a broad-based message on public matters such as wars.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Jan 18, 2011 In Knotty State Secrets Case, Justices Ponder Telling Litigants to ‘Go Away’

QUOTE: The contractors sued, asking to keep the money and seeking $1.2 billion more. They said their work had been frustrated by the government’s failure to share classified technology. The government disputed that, but would not explain why, invoking the state secrets privilege.

New York Times
Jan 11, 2011 Court weighs disclosures to stockholders

QUOTE: Stockholders said Matrixx had been warned about such a possibility since 1999, but even after lawsuits were filed the company had issued statements saying such allegations were "completely unfounded and misleading."...Matrixx said there was no attempt to deceive investors. The number of complaints about the product was "statistically insignificant"....

Washington Post
Jun 28, 2010 Justices Rule Against Group That Excludes Gay Students

QUOTE: A public law school did not violate the First Amendment by withdrawing recognition from a Christian student group that excluded gay students, the Supreme Court ruled...

New York Times
Jun 25, 2010 Justices say petition signers should not expect their names to be kept secret

QUOTE: Those who sign referendum petitions should generally not expect to keep their names secret, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday, rejecting the argument of an anti-gay-rights group that disclosure would violate their First Amendment protection of political expression.

Washington Post
Jun 24, 2010 Justices Limit Use of ‘Honest Services’ Law Against Fraud

QUOTE: The justices were unanimous in calling a broad interpretation of the law, which makes it a crime “to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services,” unconstitutionally vague.

New York Times
Jun 21, 2010 Court Affirms Ban on Aiding Groups Tied to Terror

QUOTE: In a case pitting free speech against national security, the Supreme Court on Monday upheld a federal law that makes it a crime to provide “material support” to foreign terrorist organizations, even if the help takes the form of training for peacefully resolving conflicts.

New York Times
May 18, 2010 Supreme Court restricts life without parole for juveniles

QUOTE: Juveniles may not be sentenced to life in prison without parole for any crime short of homicide, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday, expanding its command that young offenders must be treated differently from adults even for heinous crimes.

Washington Post

113 Articles and Resources. Go to:  [Next 20]   [End]