John Roberts

John Glover Roberts Jr. (born January 27, 1955) is an American lawyer and jurist, serving since 2005 as the 17th chief justice of the United States. Roberts has authored the majority opinion in several landmark cases, including National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius, Shelby County v. Holder, and Riley v. California. He has been described as having a conservative judicial philosophy but, above all, as an institutionalist.[3][4] He has shown a willingness to work with the Supreme Court's liberal bloc, and after the retirement of Anthony Kennedy in 2018, he had been regarded as the primary swing vote on the Court.[5][6][7] Roberts is no longer the median vote since the appointment of Amy Coney Barrett to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020.[8]

John Roberts
Official portrait, 2005
17th Chief Justice of the United States
Assumed office
September 29, 2005
Nominated byGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byWilliam Rehnquist
Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
In office
June 2, 2003  September 29, 2005
Nominated byGeorge W. Bush
Preceded byJames L. Buckley
Succeeded byPatricia Millett
Principal Deputy Solicitor General of the United States
In office
October 24, 1989  January 1993
PresidentGeorge H. W. Bush
Preceded byDonald B. Ayer
Succeeded byPaul Bender
Associate Counsel to the President
In office
November 28, 1982  April 11, 1986
PresidentRonald Reagan
Preceded byJ. Michael Luttig[1]
Succeeded byRobert M. Kruger[2]
Personal details
Born
John Glover Roberts Jr.

(1955-01-27) January 27, 1955 (age 67)
Buffalo, New York, U.S.
Spouse(s)
Jane Sullivan
(m. 1996)
Children2
EducationHarvard University (AB, JD)
Signature

Roberts grew up in northwestern Indiana and was educated in Catholic schools. He studied history at Harvard University and then attended Harvard Law School, where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review. He 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. 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, during which he was nominated by George H. W. Bush to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, but no vote on his nomination was held.[9] Roberts then spent 14 years in private law practice. During this time, he argued 39 cases before the Supreme Court.[10] Notably, he represented 19 states in United States v. Microsoft Corp.[11]

Roberts became a federal judge in 2003, when President George W. Bush appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. 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.[12] In 2005, Bush nominated Roberts to the Supreme Court, initially to be an associate justice to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. Chief Justice William Rehnquist died shortly afterward, however, before Roberts's Senate confirmation hearings had begun. Bush then withdrew Roberts's nomination and instead nominated him to become Chief Justice, choosing Samuel Alito to replace O'Connor.


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