Roberts was born in Buffalo, New York, but grew up in northwest Indiana and was educated in a private school. He then attended Harvard College and Harvard Law School, where he was a managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. After being admitted to the bar, he served as a law clerk for Judge Henry Friendly and then Associate Justice William Rehnquist before taking a position in the Attorney General's office during the Reagan Administration. He went on to serve the Reagan administration and the George H. W. Bush administration in the Department of Justice and the Office of the White House Counsel, before spending 14 years in private law practice. During this time, he argued 39 cases before the Supreme Court. Notably, he represented 19 states in United States v. Microsoft Corp.
In 2003, Roberts was appointed as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by George W. Bush. During his two-year tenure on the D.C. Circuit, Roberts authored 49 opinions, eliciting two dissents from other judges, and authoring three dissents of his own. In 2005, Roberts was nominated to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court, initially to succeed the retiring Sandra Day O'Connor. When Rehnquist died before Roberts's confirmation hearings began, Bush instead nominated Roberts to fill the chief justice position.
Roberts has authored the majority opinion in many landmark cases, including Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, Shelby County v. Holder, National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, and King v. Burwell. He has been described as having a conservative judicial philosophy in his jurisprudence. Even so, Roberts has shown a willingness to work with the Supreme Court's liberal bloc and since the retirement of Anthony Kennedy in 2018, has come to be regarded as a key swing vote on the Court.
|17th Chief Justice of the United States|
|Assumed office |
September 29, 2005
|Nominated by||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||William Rehnquist|
|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit|
June 2, 2003 – September 29, 2005
|Nominated by||George W. Bush|
|Preceded by||James L. Buckley|
|Succeeded by||Patricia Ann Millett|
|Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States|
October 1989 – January 1993
|President||George H. W. Bush|
|Preceded by||Donald B. Ayer|
|Succeeded by||Paul Bender|
|Associate Counsel to the President|
November 28, 1982 – April 11, 1986
|Preceded by||J. Michael Luttig|
|Succeeded by||Robert M. Kruger|
John Glover Roberts Jr.
January 27, 1955
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Jane Sullivan (m. 1996)
|Education||Harvard University (BA, JD)|
John Glover Roberts was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Rosemary (née Podrasky) and John Glover "Jack" Roberts Sr. (1928–2008). His father was a plant manager with Bethlehem Steel. His father has Irish and Welsh ancestry and his mother is of Czech descent. When Roberts was in fourth grade, his family moved to Long Beach, Indiana. He grew up with three sisters: Kathy, Peggy, and Berbere.
Roberts attended Notre Dame Elementary School, a Roman Catholic grade school in Long Beach. In 1973, he graduated from La Lumiere School, a Roman Catholic boarding school in La Porte, Indiana, where he was a student and athlete. He studied five years of Latin (in four years), some French, and was known generally for his devotion to his studies. He was captain of the football team (he later described himself as a "slow-footed linebacker"), and was a regional champion in wrestling. He participated in choir and drama, co-edited the school newspaper, and served on the athletic council and the executive committee of the student council.
After graduating from high school in 1973, Roberts entered Harvard University as a history major. Due to his academic excellence in high school, Roberts entered Harvard with sophomore (second-year) standing. One of his first papers, "Marxism and Bolshevism: Theory and Practice," won the William Scott Ferguson Prize for most outstanding essay assignment by a sophomore history major. He graduated in 1976 with membership in Phi Beta Kappa and a B.A. summa cum laude, having written a senior honors thesis entitled "Old and New Liberalism: The British Liberal Party's Approach to the Social Problem, 1906–1914". Roberts originally planned to pursue a Ph.D. in history and become a professor, but decided to study law instead. He attended Harvard Law School, where he was a managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated in 1979 with a J.D. magna cum laude.
After graduating from law school, Roberts clerked for Judge Henry Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1979 to 1980. From 1980 to 1981, he clerked for Justice William Rehnquist of the U.S. Supreme Court. From 1981 to 1982, he served in the Reagan administration as a special assistant to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith. From 1982 to 1986, Roberts served as associate counsel to the president under White House counsel Fred Fielding. Roberts then entered private law practice in Washington, D.C. as an associate at the law firm Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells). As part of Hogan & Hartson's pro bono work, he worked behind the scenes for gay rights advocates, reviewing filings and preparing arguments for the Supreme Court case Romer v. Evans (1996), which was described in 2005 as "the movement's most important legal victory". Roberts also argued on behalf of the homeless, a case which became one of Roberts' "few appellate losses." Another pro bono matter was a death penalty case in which he represented John Ferguson, who was convicted of killing eight people in Florida.
Roberts left Hogan & Hartson to serve in the George H. W. Bush administration as principal deputy solicitor general, from 1989 to 1993 and as acting solicitor general for the purposes of at least one case when Ken Starr had a conflict.
In 1992, George H. W. Bush nominated Roberts to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, but no Senate vote was held, and Roberts's nomination expired at the end of the 102nd Congress.
Roberts returned to Hogan & Hartson as a partner and became the head of the firm's appellate practice in addition to serving as an adjunct faculty member at the Georgetown University Law Center. During this time, Roberts argued 39 cases before the Supreme Court, prevailing in 25 of them. He represented 19 states in United States v. Microsoft. Those cases include:
|First Options v. Kaplan, 514 U.S. 938||March 22, 1995||May 22, 1995||Respondent|
|Adams v. Robertson, 520 U.S. 83||January 14, 1997||March 3, 1997||Respondent|
|Alaska v. Native Village of Venetie Tribal Government, 522 U.S. 520||December 10, 1997||February 25, 1999||Petitioner|
|Feltner v. Columbia Pictures Television, Inc., 523 U.S. 340||January 21, 1998||March 31, 1998||Petitioner|
|National Collegiate Athletic Association v. Smith, 525 U.S. 459||January 20, 1999||February 23, 1999||Petitioner|
|Rice v. Cayetano, 528 U.S. 495||October 6, 1999||February 23, 2000||Respondent|
|Eastern Associated Coal Corp. v. Mine Workers, 531 U.S. 57||October 2, 2000||November 28, 2000||Petitioner|
|TrafFix Devices, Inc. v. Marketing Displays, Inc., 532 U.S. 23||November 29, 2000||March 20, 2001||Petitioner|
|Toyota Motor Manufacturing v. Williams, 534 U.S. 184||November 7, 2001||January 8, 2002||Petitioner|
|Tahoe-Sierra Preservation Council, Inc. v. Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, 535 U.S. 302||January 7, 2002||April 23, 2002||Respondent|
|Rush Prudential HMO, Inc. v. Moran, 536 U.S. 355||January 16, 2002||June 20, 2002||Petitioner|
|Gonzaga University v. Doe, 536 U.S. 273||April 24, 2002||June 20, 2002||Petitioner|
|Barnhart v. Peabody Coal Co., 537 U.S. 149||October 8, 2002||January 15, 2003||Respondent|
|Smith v. Doe, 538 U.S. 84||November 13, 2002||March 5, 2003||Petitioner|
In 2000, Roberts traveled to Tallahassee, Florida to advise Jeb Bush, then the Governor of Florida, concerning the latter's actions in the Florida election recount during the presidential election.
On May 10, 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Roberts for a different seat on the D.C. Circuit, which had been vacated by James L. Buckley. The Senate at the time, however, was controlled by the Democrats, who were in conflict with Bush over his judicial nominees. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-VT, refused to give Roberts a hearing in the 107th Congress. The GOP regained control of the Senate on January 7, 2003, and Bush resubmitted Roberts's nomination that day. Roberts was confirmed on May 8, 2003, and received his commission on June 2, 2003. During his two-year tenure on the D.C. Circuit, Roberts authored 49 opinions, eliciting two dissents from other judges, and authoring three dissents of his own.
Notable decisions on the D.C. Circuit include the following:
Hedgepeth v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 386 F.3d 1148, involved a 12-year-old girl who was arrested, searched, handcuffed, driven to police headquarters, booked, and fingerprinted after she violated a publicly advertised zero tolerance "no eating" policy in a Washington Metro station by eating a single french fry. She was released to her mother three hours later. She sued, alleging that an adult would have only received a citation for the same offense, while children must be detained until parents are notified. The D.C. Circuit unanimously affirmed the district court's dismissal of the girl's lawsuit, which was predicated on alleged violations of the Fourth Amendment (unreasonable search and seizure) and Fifth Amendment (equal protection).
"No one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation," Roberts wrote, and noted that the policies under which the girl was apprehended had since been changed. Because age discrimination is evaluated using a rational basis test, however, only weak state interests were required to justify the policy, and the panel concluded they were present. "Because parents and guardians play an essential role in that rehabilitative process, it is reasonable for the District to seek to ensure their participation, and the method chosen—detention until the parent is notified and retrieves the child—certainly does that, in a way issuing a citation might not." The court concluded that the policy and detention were constitutional, noting that "the question before us ... is not whether these policies were a bad idea, but whether they violated the Fourth and Fifth Amendments to the Constitution," language reminiscent of Justice Potter Stewart's dissent in Griswold v. Connecticut. "We are not asked in this case to say whether we think this law is unwise, or even asinine," Stewart had written; "[w]e are asked to hold that it violates the United States Constitution. And that, I cannot do."
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. Circuit Judge A. Raymond Randolph, writing for the court, ruled that Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a driver for al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, could be tried by a military court because:
The court held open the possibility of judicial review of the results of the military commission after the current proceedings ended. This decision was overturned on June 29, 2006, by the Supreme Court in a 5–3 decision, with Roberts not participating due to his prior participation in the case as a circuit judge.
Roberts wrote a dissent in Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton, 323 F.3d 1062, a case involving the protection of a rare California toad under the Endangered Species Act. When the court denied a rehearing en banc, 334 F.3d 1158 (D.C. Cir. 2003), Roberts dissented, arguing that the panel opinion was inconsistent with United States v. Lopez and United States v. Morrison in that it incorrectly focused on whether the regulation substantially affects interstate commerce rather than on whether the regulated activity does. In Roberts's view, the Commerce Clause of the Constitution did not permit the government to regulate activity affecting what he called "a hapless toad" that "for reasons of its own, lives its entire life in California." He said that reviewing the panel decision would allow the court "alternative grounds for sustaining application of the Act that may be more consistent with Supreme Court precedent."
On July 19, 2005, President Bush nominated Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court to fill a vacancy that would be created by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Roberts was the first Supreme Court nominee since Stephen Breyer in 1994. Bush announced Roberts's nomination in a live, nationwide television broadcast from the East Room of the White House at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist died on September 3, 2005, while Roberts's confirmation was still pending before the Senate. Shortly thereafter, on September 5, Bush withdrew Roberts's nomination as O'Connor's successor and announced Roberts's new nomination to the position of Chief Justice. Bush asked the Senate to expedite Roberts's confirmation hearings to fill the vacancy by the beginning of the Supreme Court's session in early October.
During his confirmation hearings, Roberts said that he did not have a comprehensive jurisprudential philosophy, and he did "not think beginning with an all-encompassing approach to constitutional interpretation is the best way to faithfully construe the document." Roberts analogized judges to baseball umpires: "[I]t's my job to call balls and strikes, and not to pitch or bat." Roberts demonstrated an encyclopedic knowledge of Supreme Court precedent, which he discussed without notes. Among the issues he discussed were:
In Senate hearings, Roberts has stated:
Starting with McCulloch v. Maryland, Chief Justice John Marshall gave a very broad and expansive reading to the powers of the Federal Government and explained generally that if the ends be legitimate, then any means chosen to achieve them are within the power of the Federal Government, and cases interpreting that, throughout the years, have come down. Certainly, by the time Lopez was decided, many of us had learned in law school that it was just sort of a formality to say that interstate commerce was affected and that cases weren't going to be thrown out that way. Lopez certainly breathed new life into the Commerce Clause.
I think it remains to be seen, in subsequent decisions, how rigorous a showing, and in many cases, it is just a showing. It's not a question of an abstract fact, does this affect interstate commerce or not, but has this body, the Congress, demonstrated the impact on interstate commerce that drove them to legislate? That's a very important factor. It wasn't present in Lopez at all. I think the members of Congress had heard the same thing I had heard in law school, that this is unimportant—and they hadn't gone through the process of establishing a record in that case.
Roberts stated the following about federalism in a 1999 radio interview:
We have gotten to the point these days where we think the only way we can show we're serious about a problem is if we pass a federal law, whether it is the Violence Against Women Act or anything else. The fact of the matter is conditions are different in different states, and state laws can be more relevant is I think exactly the right term, more attuned to the different situations in New York, as opposed to Minnesota, and that is what the Federal system is based on.
At a Senate hearing, Roberts stated:
The Supreme Court has, throughout its history, on many occasions described the deference that is due to legislative judgments. Justice Holmes described assessing the constitutionality of an act of Congress as the gravest duty that the Supreme Court is called upon to perform. ... It's a principle that is easily stated and needs to be observed in practice, as well as in theory.
Now, the Court, of course, has the obligation, and has been recognized since Marbury v. Madison, to assess the constitutionality of acts of Congress, and when those acts are challenged, it is the obligation of the Court to say what the law is. The determination of when deference to legislative policy judgments goes too far and becomes abdication of the judicial responsibility, and when scrutiny of those judgments goes too far on the part of the judges and becomes what I think is properly called judicial activism, that is certainly the central dilemma of having an unelected, as you describe it correctly, undemocratic judiciary in a democratic republic.
On the subject of stare decisis, referring to Brown v. Board, the decision overturning school segregation, Roberts said that "the Court in that case, of course, overruled a prior decision. I don't think that constitutes judicial activism because obviously if the decision is wrong, it should be overruled. That's not activism. That's applying the law correctly."
While working as a lawyer for the Reagan administration, Roberts wrote legal memos defending administration policies on abortion. At his nomination hearing Roberts testified that the legal memos represented the views of the administration he was representing at the time and not necessarily his own. "Senator, I was a staff lawyer; I didn't have a position," Roberts said. As a lawyer in the George H. W. Bush administration, Roberts signed a legal brief urging the court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
In private meetings with senators before his confirmation, 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.
In his Senate testimony, Roberts said that, while sitting on the Appellate Court, he had an obligation to respect precedents established by the Supreme Court, including the right to an abortion. He stated: "Roe v. Wade is the settled law of the land. ... There is nothing in my personal views that would prevent me from fully and faithfully applying that precedent, as well as Casey." Following the traditional reluctance of nominees to indicate which way they might vote on an issue likely to come before the Supreme Court, he did not explicitly say whether he would vote to overturn either, however Jeffrey Rosen adds "I wouldn’t bet on Chief Justice Roberts’s siding unequivocally with the anti-Roe forces."
On September 22, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved Roberts's nomination by a vote of 13–5, with Senators Ted Kennedy, Richard Durbin, Charles Schumer, Joe Biden and Dianne Feinstein casting the dissenting votes. Roberts was confirmed by the full Senate on September 29 by a margin of 78–22. All Republicans and the one Independent voted for Roberts; the Democrats split evenly, 22–22. Roberts was confirmed by what was, historically, a narrow margin for a Supreme Court justice. However, all subsequent confirmation votes have been even narrower.
Roberts took the Constitutional oath of office, administered by Associate Justice John Paul Stevens at the White House, on September 29. On October 3, he took the judicial oath provided for by the Judiciary Act of 1789 at the United States Supreme Court building, prior to the first oral arguments of the 2005 term.
Justice Antonin Scalia said that Roberts "pretty much run[s] the show the same way" as Rehnquist, albeit "let[ting] people go on a little longer at conference ... but [he'll] get over that." Roberts has been portrayed as a consistent advocate for conservative principles by analysts such as Jeffrey Toobin. Garrett Epps has described Roberts's prose as "crystalline, vivid, and often humorous".
Seventh Circuit Judge Diane Sykes, surveying Roberts's first term on the court, concluded that his jurisprudence "appears to be strongly rooted in the discipline of traditional legal method, evincing a fidelity to text, structure, history, and the constitutional hierarchy. He exhibits the restraint that flows from the careful application of established decisional rules and the practice of reasoning from the case law. He 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." Roberts has been said to operate under an approach of judicial minimalism in his decisions, having stated, "[i]f it is not necessary to decide more to a case, then in my view it is necessary not to decide more to a case." His decision making and leadership demonstrates an intent to preserve the Court's power and legitimacy while dually maintaining judicial independence. Chief Justice Roberts was ranked 50th in the 2016 Forbes ranking of "The World's Most Powerful People."
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. The point of contention in the case was largely one of statutory interpretation, not federalism.
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.
Following his concurrence in Citizens United (2010), Roberts wrote the majority decision for another landmark campaign finance case called McCutcheon v. FEC (2014). In McCutcheon the court ruled that "aggregate limits" on the combined amount a donor could give to various federal candidates or party committees violated the First Amendment.
Roberts wrote his first dissent in Georgia v. Randolph (2006). The majority's decision prohibited police from searching a home if both occupants are present but one objected and the other consented. Roberts criticized the majority opinion as inconsistent with prior case law and for partly basing its reasoning on its perception of social custom. He said the social expectation test was flawed because the Fourth Amendment protects a legitimate expectation of privacy, not social expectations.
In Utah v. Strieff (2016), Roberts joined the majority in ruling (5-3) that a person with an outstanding warrant may be arrested and searched, and that any evidence discovered based on that search is admissible in court; the majority opinion held that this remains true even when police act unlawfully by stopping a person without reasonable suspicion, before learning of the existence of the outstanding warrant.
In Carpenter v. United States, a landmark decision involving privacy of cellular phone data, Roberts wrote the majority opinion in a 5-4 ruling that searches of cellular phone data generally require a warrant.
Although Roberts has often sided with Scalia and Thomas, he also provided a crucial vote against their mutual position in Jones v. Flowers, siding with liberal justices of the court in ruling that, before a home is seized and sold in a tax-forfeiture sale, due diligence must be demonstrated and proper notification needs to be sent to the owners. Dissenting justices were Anthony Kennedy, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, while Roberts's opinion was joined by David Souter, Stephen Breyer, John Paul Stevens and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Samuel Alito did not participate.
On the Supreme Court, Roberts has indicated he supports some abortion restrictions. In Gonzales v. Carhart (2007), he voted with the majority to uphold the constitutionality of the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act. Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for a five-justice majority, distinguished Stenberg v. Carhart, and concluded that the court's previous decision in Planned Parenthood v. Casey did not prevent Congress from banning the procedure. The decision left the door open for future as-applied challenges, and did not address the broader question of whether Congress had the authority to pass the law. Justice Clarence Thomas filed a concurring opinion, contending that the Court's prior decisions in Roe v. Wade and Casey should be reversed; Roberts declined to join that opinion.
In December 2018, Justices Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh joined the court's four liberal justices in a denial for writ of certiorari, declining to hear a case brought by the states of Louisiana and Kansas to deny Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood. Because the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, the lower court rulings in favor of Planned Parenthood still stand. In February 2019, Roberts sided with the court's liberal wing, in a 5-4 decision, granting a stay to temporarily block a Louisiana abortion restriction. The Louisiana law required that doctors performing abortions possess admitting privileges at a hospital near the facility providing the abortion, and the stay blocks that law pending review in the legal process.
On November 4, 2016, Roberts was the deciding vote in a 5-3 decision to stay an execution. On February 7, 2019, Roberts was part of the majority in a 5-4 decision rejecting a Muslim inmate's request to delay execution in order to have an imam present with him during the execution. Also in February, 2019, Roberts sided with Justice Kavanaugh and the court's four liberal justices in a 6-3 decision to block the execution of a man with an "intellectual disability" in Texas.
Roberts opposes the use of race in assigning students to particular schools, including for purposes such as maintaining integrated schools. He sees such plans as discrimination in violation of the constitution's Equal Protection Clause and Brown v. Board of Education. In Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, the court considered two voluntarily adopted school district plans that relied on race to determine which schools certain children may attend. The court had held in Brown that "racial discrimination in public education is unconstitutional," and later, that "racial classifications, imposed by whatever federal, state, or local governmental actor, ... are constitutional only if they are narrowly tailored measures that further compelling governmental interests," and that this "[n]arrow tailoring ... require[s] serious, good faith consideration of workable race-neutral alternatives." Roberts cited these cases in writing for the Parents Involved majority, concluding that the school districts had "failed to show that they considered methods other than explicit racial classifications to achieve their stated goals." In a section of the opinion joined by four other Justices, Roberts added that "[t]he way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
Roberts authored the 2007 student free speech case Morse v. Frederick, ruling that a student in a public school-sponsored activity does not have the right to advocate drug use on the basis that the right to free speech does not invariably prevent the exercise of school discipline.
On April 20, 2010, in United States v. Stevens, the Supreme Court struck down an animal cruelty law. Roberts, writing for an 8–1 majority, found that a federal statute criminalizing the commercial production, sale, or possession of depictions of cruelty to animals, was an unconstitutional abridgment of the First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The Court held that the statute was substantially overbroad; for example, it could allow prosecutions for selling photos of out-of-season hunting.
On June 28, 2012, Roberts delivered the majority opinion in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, which upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by a 5–4 vote. The Court indicated that although the "individual mandate" component of the Act could not be upheld under the Commerce Clause, the mandate could be construed as a tax and was therefore ruled to be valid under Congress's authority to "lay and collect taxes." The Court overturned a portion of the law related to the withholding of funds from states that did not comply with the expansion of Medicaid; Roberts wrote that "Congress is not free ... to penalize states that choose not to participate in that new program by taking away their existing Medicaid funding." Sources within the Supreme Court state that Roberts switched his vote regarding the individual mandate sometime after an initial vote and that Roberts largely wrote both the majority and minority opinions. This extremely unusual circumstance has also been used to explain why the minority opinion was also unsigned, itself a rare phenomenon from the Supreme Court.
Roberts has been compared and contrasted to other court members by commentators. Although Roberts is identified as having a conservative judicial philosophy, his vote in National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) caused the press to contrast him with the Rehnquist court. Roberts is seen as having a more moderate conservative orientation, particularly when Bush v. Gore is compared to Roberts' vote for the ACA. Roberts' judicial philosophy is seen as more moderate and conciliatory than Antonin Scalia's and Clarence Thomas'. He wishes more consensus from the Court. Roberts' voting pattern is most closely aligned to Samuel Alito's.
In 2013, Roberts wrote the 5-4 majority opinion that the appellants seeking to uphold Proposition 8 in California, which was ruled unconstitutional by lower courts, did not have standing and the lower courts' rulings were allowed to stand and same-sex marriages resumed in California. Roberts dissented in United States v. Windsor in which the 5-4 majority ruled that key parts of the Defense of Marriage Act were unconstitutional. The case allowed the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages performed in jurisdictions where legal. He dissented in the Obergefell v. Hodges case in which Kennedy wrote for the majority, again 5-4, that same-sex couples had a right to marry. 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 thus siding with same-sex couples who filed the lawsuit; 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.
As Chief Justice, Roberts also serves in a variety of non-judicial roles, including Chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution and leading the Judicial Conference of the United States. Perhaps the best known of these is the custom of the Chief Justice administering the oath of office at Presidential inaugurations. Roberts debuted in this capacity at the inauguration of Barack Obama on January 20, 2009. (As a Senator, Obama had voted against Roberts's confirmation to the Supreme Court, making the event doubly a first: the first time a president was sworn in by someone whose confirmation he opposed.) Things did not go smoothly. According to columnist Jeffrey Toobin:
Through intermediaries, Roberts and Obama had agreed how to divide the thirty-five-word oath for the swearing in. Obama was first supposed to repeat the clause "I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear." But, when Obama heard Roberts begin to speak, he interrupted Roberts before he said "do solemnly swear." This apparently flustered the Chief Justice, who then made a mistake in the next line, inserting the word "faithfully" out of order. Obama smiled, apparently recognizing the error, then tried to follow along. Roberts then garbled another word in the next passage, before correctly reciting, "preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
Part of the difficulty was that Roberts did not have the text of the oath with him but relied on his memory. On later occasions when Roberts has administered an oath, he has taken the text with him.
The Associated Press reported that "[l]ater, as the two men shook hands in the Capitol, Roberts appeared to say the mistake was his fault." The following evening in the White House Map Room with reporters present, Roberts and Obama repeated the oath correctly. This was, according to the White House, done out of "an abundance of caution" to ensure that the constitutional requirement had been met.
In November 2018, the Associated Press approached Roberts for comment after President Donald Trump described a jurist who ruled against his asylum policy as an "Obama judge". In response, Roberts asserted that "We do not have Obama judges or Trump judges, Bush judges or Clinton judges. What we have is an extraordinary group of dedicated judges doing their level best to do equal right to those appearing before them." Robert's remarks were widely interpreted as a rebuke of President Trump's comments.
Roberts is one of 14 Catholic justices—out of 114 justices total—in the history of the Supreme Court. Of those fourteen justices, five (Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Brett Kavanaugh) are currently serving. Roberts married Jane Sullivan in Washington in 1996. She is an attorney, a Catholic, and a trustee (along with Clarence Thomas) at her alma mater, the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts. The couple adopted two children, John (Jack) and Josephine (Josie).
Roberts suffered a seizure on July 30, 2007, while at his vacation home on Hupper Island off the village of Port Clyde in St. George, Maine. As a result of the seizure he fell 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3.0 m) on a dock near his house but suffered only minor scrapes. He was taken by private boat to the mainland (which is several hundred yards from the island) and then by ambulance to Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, where he stayed overnight, according to Supreme Court spokesperson Kathy Arberg. Doctors called the incident a benign idiopathic seizure, which means there was no identifiable physiological cause.
Roberts had suffered a similar seizure in 1993. After this first seizure, Roberts temporarily limited some of his activities, such as driving. According to Senator Arlen Specter, who chaired the Senate Judiciary Committee during Roberts's nomination to be Chief Justice in 2005, senators were aware of this seizure when they were considering his nomination, but the committee did not think it was significant enough to bring up during his confirmation hearings. Federal judges are not required by law to release information about their health.
According to neurologist Marc Schlosberg of Washington Hospital Center, who has no direct connection to the Roberts case, someone who has had more than one seizure without any other cause is by definition determined to have epilepsy. After two seizures, the likelihood of another at some point is greater than 60 percent. Steven Garner of New York Methodist Hospital, who is also uninvolved with the case, said that Roberts's previous history of seizures means that the second incident may be less serious than if this were a newly emerging problem.
The Supreme Court said in a statement that Roberts has "fully recovered from the incident" and that a neurological evaluation "revealed no cause for concern." Sanjay Gupta, a CNN contributor and a neurosurgeon not involved in Roberts's case, said that when an otherwise healthy person has a seizure his doctor would investigate whether the patient had started any new medications and had normal electrolyte levels. If those two things were normal, then a brain scan would be performed. If Roberts does not have another seizure within a relatively short time period, Gupta said that he was unsure if Roberts would be given the diagnosis of epilepsy. He said the Chief Justice may need to take an anti-seizure medication.
According to a 16-page financial disclosure form Roberts submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee prior to his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, his net worth was more than $6 million, including $1.6 million in stock holdings. At the time Roberts left private practice to join the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003, he took a pay cut from $1 million a year to $171,800; as Chief Justice, his salary is $255,500 as of 2014. Roberts also holds a one-eighth interest in a cottage in Knocklong, an Irish village in County Limerick.
In August 2010, Roberts sold his stock in Pfizer, which allowed him to participate in two pending cases involving the pharmaceutical maker. Justices are required to recuse themselves in cases in which they own stock of a party.
The University of Michigan Law Library (External Links, below) has compiled fulltext links to these articles and a number of briefs and arguments.
349 U.S. 294, 298 (1955) (Brown II)
James L. Buckley
| Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
| Chief Justice of the United States
|U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
| Order of Precedence of the United States
as Chief Justice of the United States
as Former President of the United States
Anthony John Roberts (born 19 April 1970), an Australian politician, is the New South Wales Minister for Counter Terrorism and Corrections in the second Berejiklian ministry since April 2019. Roberts is a member of the New South Wales Legislative Assembly representing Lane Cove for the Liberal Party since 2003.He has previously served as the Minister for Planning, the Minister for Housing, and the Special Minister of State from 2017 until 2019 in the first Berejiklian ministry; and the Minister for Industry, Resources and Energy between 2015 and 2017 in the second Baird government; as the Minister for Resources and Energy and the Special Minister of State, between 2013 and 2015 in the first Baird government; and as the Minister for Fair Trading in the O'Farrell government.
Prior to entering politics, Roberts was a director of the public relations firm Flagship Communications.Baron Clwyd
Baron Clwyd, of Abergele in the County of Denbigh, is a title in the Peerage of the United Kingdom. It was created in 1919 for the Liberal politician Sir John Roberts, 1st Baronet, who had previously represented Denbighshire West in the House of Commons. He had already been created a Baronet, of Brynwenalt of Kilmaron in the County of Denbigh, in the Baronetage of the United Kingdom in 1908. Lord Clwyd's father John Roberts had earlier been Member of Parliament for Flint from 1878 to 1892. As of 2016 the titles are held by his great-grandson, the fourth Baron, who succeeded his father in 2006.
The title of the barony, Clwyd, is pronounced "Cloo-id".Bob's Burgers
Bob's Burgers is an American animated sitcom created by Loren Bouchard for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series centers on the Belcher family – parents Bob and Linda and their children Tina, Gene and Louise – who run a hamburger restaurant. The show was conceived by Bouchard after he developed Home Movies. Bob's Burgers is a joint production by Wilo Productions, Buck & Millie Productions, and 20th Century Fox Television and syndicated by 20th Television.
While reviews for the first season were mixed, feedback for subsequent seasons has been much more positive. The series premiere, "Human Flesh", drew in 9.39 million viewers, making it the highest-rated series premiere of the season and finishing ninth in the ratings for the week it aired. Reruns began airing on Cartoon Network's late night programming block Adult Swim on June 23, 2013 and began airing in syndication on local stations in September 2015.
A comic book series based on the show, published by Dynamite Entertainment, began in September 2014 and a soundtrack album was released on May 12, 2017.In 2013, TV Guide ranked Bob's Burgers as one of the top 60 Greatest TV Cartoons of All Time. The series has been nominated for several awards, including the Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program seven consecutive times, winning in 2014 and 2017.
The show has run for nine seasons and has been renewed by Fox for a tenth. A feature film of the animated television series is in the works and is scheduled for a July 17, 2020 release.CNN Tonight
CNN Tonight, currently branded on-air as CNN Tonight with Don Lemon, is a late evening news/opinion program airing on CNN and CNN International, presented by CNN journalist and news anchor, Don Lemon.
The show currently airs weeknights live from 10:00 pm to midnight ET, with a replay from 2:00 am to 4:00 am ET, from Time Warner Center in New York City or CNN's studios in Washington, D.C.Cavendish Invitational
The Cavendish Invitational is the largest money bridge tournament in the world. In 2012 it moved from Las Vegas to Monaco and from May to October. From 1975 to 2011, first in New York City and later in Las Vegas, it ran from Friday to Sunday on Mother's Day weekend.Connor Roberts (footballer, born 1995)
Connor Richard John Roberts (born 23 September 1995) is a Wales international footballer who plays for Swansea City.John P. Roberts
John P. Roberts (1945 – October 27, 2001, aged 56) was a businessman who bankrolled the Woodstock Festival. He was the heir to the polydent/poligrip denture adhesive fortune.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania Roberts and his friend Joel Rosenman tried to pitch a story for a television series about entrepreneurs who had more money than ideas. Each week their antics would get them into a new series of problems.Roberts and Rosenman had met at a golf course in 1966 and shared an apartment in 1967.To do research they placed an advertisement in The Wall Street Journal identifying themselves as "young men with unlimited capital" who were looking for business ideas. Among the 5,000 responding were Michael Lang and Artie Kornfeld who proposed building a recording studio in Woodstock, New York to encourage recordings by local residents Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix and The Band. Eventually this idea was dropped in favor of staging an outdoor music festival.
As they developed a plan it was clear there was no area around Woodstock that would meet their requirements, they then moved it to Wallkill, New York. Following protests from local residents they moved to its eventual location in Bethel, New York.
The concert cost between $2.4 million and $3.1 million to produce and brought in $1.8 million from gate receipts. While the producers would make money on the movie and soundtrack of the events, Roberts said he did not get out of debt from the event until 1980.
After the concert they produced subsequent events of the same type and operated a leveraged buyout firm in Manhattan.Roberts died on October 27, 2001 at Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan. He was 56 and lived in Manhattan.John R. Opel
John Roberts Opel (January 5, 1925, in Kansas City, Missouri – November 3, 2011, in Fort Myers, Florida) was a U.S. computer businessman. He served eleven years as the President of IBM between 1974 and 1985. He then served as the CEO of IBM from 1981 to 1985and he was chairman of IBM between 1983 and 1986.Born in Kansas City, Missouri, Opel grew up in Jefferson City, Missouri. He majored in English at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri. He then fought in the Philippines and Okinawa in World War II and earned an MBA degree from the University of Chicago in 1949.
Upon graduation, Opel had two job offers, one to rewrite economics textbooks, and the other to take over his father’s hardware business. While taking a fishing trip with his father and a family friend who worked for IBM, he was offered a third job as a salesman in central Missouri, and accepted.
In 1959 Mr. Opel became executive assistant to IBM CEO Thomas J. Watson Jr., after which he rose rapidly, taking positions in manufacturing and public relations and other departments, and managed the introduction of the IBM System 360 mainframe computer in 1964.
Opel died at his Fort Myers, Florida home in 2011. He was 86.John Robartes, 1st Earl of Radnor
John Robartes, 1st Earl of Radnor and Viscount Bodmin (1606 – 17 July 1685), known as The Lord Robartes (or John, Lord Roberts) between 1634 and 1679, was an English politician, who fought for the Parliamentary cause during the English Civil War. He retired from public life before the trial and execution of Charles I (1649) and did not take an active part in politics until after the Restoration (England) in 1660. During the reign of Charles II he opposed the Cavalier party (because he wanted more toleration of non-Anglican religious sects). Towards the end of his life he opposed the more extreme Protestant groups, led by Ashley Cooper, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, who refused to accept the succession of James because he was a self-declared Catholic.John Roberts (Australian rules footballer)
John Roberts (born 23 September 1956) is a former Australian rules footballer who played with South Melbourne in the Victorian Football League (VFL). He was the club's leading goal kicker in 1980 and 1981.
Roberts holds the record for the most goals kicked in a game at Football Park in Adelaide when he kicked 16 goals in a game for Woodville in the 1977 SANFL season. He later went on to play full forward for North Adelaide in their 1987 SANFL Grand Final win over Glenelg at Football Park. He also won the Ken Farmer Medal as the SANFL's leading goal kicker in 1987 with 111 goals.John Roberts (Canadian politician)
John Moody Roberts, (November 28, 1933 – March 30, 2007) was a Canadian politician. He was a Liberal Member of Parliament for 13 years interspersed between 1968 and 1984. He was a member of cabinet in the government of Pierre Trudeau.John Roberts (actor)
John Roberts (born November 10, 1971) is an American actor, voice actor, comedian and writer who voices Linda Belcher on the animated sitcom Bob's Burgers.John Roberts (footballer, born 1946)
John Griffith Roberts (11 September 1946 – 4 January 2016) was a Welsh footballer who made nearly 400 appearances in the Football League and won 22 caps for Wales.John Roberts (historian)
John Morris Roberts (14 April 1928 – 30 May 2003), often known as J. M. Roberts, was a British historian with significant published works. From 1979 to 1985 he was vice chancellor of the University of Southampton, and from 1985 to 1994, Warden of Merton College, Oxford. He was also well known as the author and presenter of the BBC TV series The Triumph of the West (1985).John Roberts (journalist)
John David Roberts is a Canadian television journalist currently working for the Fox News Channel, as its chief White House correspondent.He joined Fox News in January 2011. Prior to Fox News, Roberts was at CNN where he was an anchor and Senior National Correspondent. He worked at various radio and television jobs before joining CTV in 1990, CBS News in 1992 and CNN in 2006. On March 12, 2009, Roberts was inducted into the Canadian Broadcast Hall of Fame. Prior to becoming their chief White House correspondent, Roberts was a national correspondent for Fox News, based in Atlanta.John Roberts (motorsport commentator)
John Roberts (born October 2, 1965) is a former on-air broadcaster for NASCAR coverage on Fox Sports 1. He appeared on NASCAR Race Hub and NASCAR Live! and until 2014, he appeared on NASCAR RaceDay and NASCAR Victory Lane, while also having served as a studio host of NASCAR on FOX.Richard J. Roberts
Sir Richard John Roberts (born 6 September 1943) is an English biochemist and molecular biologist. He was awarded the 1993 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Phillip Allen Sharp for the discovery of introns in eukaryotic DNA and the mechanism of gene-splicing. He currently works at New England Biolabs.Roberts Court
The Roberts Court is the time since 2005 during which the Supreme Court of the United States has been led by Chief Justice John Roberts. It is generally considered more conservative than the preceding Rehnquist Court, as a result of the retirement of moderate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and the subsequent confirmation of the more conservative Justice Samuel Alito in her place.World Billiards Championship (English billiards)
The WPBSA World Billiards Championships are a pair of international, professional cue sports tournaments in the discipline of English billiards. The formerly singular championship has been divided, since 2010, into separate timed and points divisions, like the amateur world championships. In its various forms, and usually as a single World Billiards Championship, the title is one of the oldest sporting world championships, dating in earnest (though irregularly) to 1869.
The rules adopted by the Billiards Association in 1899 are essentially the rules still used today. The tournaments have been played on a regular annual schedule since 1980, when it became administered by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA). The event was known as the World Professional Billiards Championship until 2010, and has had other names in the past, e.g. Billiards Championship of the World. In addition, the World Ladies Billiards Championship has been played since 1931 (with interruptions) and organized by World Ladies Billiards and Snooker since 1998.
Judicial opinions of John Roberts
Current members of the Judicial Conference of the United States
*not including acting officeholders, visiting dignitaries, auxiliary executive and military personnel and most diplomats