John Glover Roberts Jr. (born January 27, 1955) is an American lawyer and jurist who serves as the chief justice of the United States
. Roberts has authored the majority opinion in several landmark case
s, including ''Shelby County v. Holder
'', ''National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius
'', ''King v. Burwell
'', ''Department of Commerce v. New York
'', and ''Department of Homeland Security v. Regents of the University of California
''. He has been described as having a conservative judicial philosophy
but 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. Roberts presided over the first impeachment trial of Donald Trump
in early 2020; however, he declined to preside over the second impeachment trial of Trump
, who was impeached as president, but whose term had expired by the time of the trial.
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. Roberts then spent 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.
Roberts first became a judge in 2003, when President George W. Bush
appointed him to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. 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.
Bush then nominated Roberts to the Supreme Court in 2005, initially to be an associate justice
to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
. But Chief Justice William Rehnquist
died shortly afterward, before Robert's Senate
confirmation hearings had begun. Bush then withdrew Roberts' nomination and instead nominated him to become Chief Justice, choosing Samuel Alito
to replace O'Connor.
Early life and education
John Glover Roberts Jr. was born on January 27, 1955, in Buffalo, New York
, the son of Rosemary (''née
'' Podrasky; 1929–2019) and John Glover "Jack" Roberts Sr. (1928–2008). His father had Irish and Welsh ancestry and his mother was a descendent of Slovak
immigrants from Szepes, Hungary
. His parents were born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania
and moved to Buffalo
together after their marriage. He has an elder sister, Kathy, and two younger sisters, Peggy and Barbara. 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
. In 1965, ten-year-old Roberts and his family moved to Long Beach, Indiana
, where his father became manager of a new steel plant in nearby Burns Harbor
He attended Notre Dame Elementary School, then La Lumiere School
, a small but affluent and academically rigorous Roman Catholic boarding school in La Porte, Indiana
where he was captain of the football
team and was a regional champion in wrestling
. He participated in choir and drama, and co-edited the school newspaper.
He graduated first in his class in 1973.
Roberts entered Harvard University
with sophomore (second-year) standing based on his high achievement in high school, and majored
"John Roberts's Other Papers"
, ''The Weekly Standard'', August 8, 2005
One of his first papers, "Marxism
: Theory and Practice", won Harvard's William Scott Ferguson Prize for most outstanding essay by a sophomore history major,
and in his senior year his paper "The Utopian Conservative: A Study of Continuity and Change in the Thought of Daniel Webster
" won a Bowdoin Prize
. Each summer he returned home to earn money working at the steel plant his father managed.
He graduated in 1976 with an A.B.
''summa cum laude
'' and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa
Roberts had originally planned to pursue a Ph.D.
in history but attended Harvard Law School
instead. He became managing editor of the ''Harvard Law Review
'', and graduated in 1979 with a J.D.
''magna cum laude''.
Early legal career
After graduating from law school, Roberts first clerked
for Judge Henry Friendly
of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
from 1979 to 1980, then clerked for Justice (later Chief Justice
in 1986) William Rehnquist
of the U.S. Supreme Court
from 1980 to 1981.
After his clerkships, Roberts began working for the U.S. government in the administration of President Ronald Reagan
, first from 1981 to 1982 as a special assistant to William French Smith
, the U.S. Attorney General
, then from 1982 to 1986 as an associate with the White House Counsel
In 1986, Roberts entered private law practice in Washington, D.C.
, as an associate at the law firm Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan Lovells
) and worked in the field of corporate law
. In 1989, Roberts joined the administration of newly elected president George H. W. Bush
as Principal Deputy Solicitor General
He served as the acting solicitor general for the purposes of Metro Broadcasting, Inc. v. FCC
when the sitting solicitor general, Ken Starr
, had a conflict of interest. In the case, Roberts argued against policies of the FCC
intended to increase minority ownership of broadcast licenses, arguing that the racial preferences were unconstitutional. Robert's decision to argue that a federal agency's policy was unconstitutional surprised many lawyers within the Solicitor General's office. In 1992, Bush nominated Roberts to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
, but no Senate vote was held, and Roberts's nomination expired at the end of the 102nd Congress
Following Bush's defeat by Bill Clinton
in the 1992 presidential election
, Roberts returned to Hogan & Hartson as a partner. He became the head of the firm's appellate practice, and also became an adjunct professor
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:
During this time he worked pro bono
for gay rights advocates, reviewing filings and preparing arguments for the 1996 Supreme Court case ''Romer v. Evans
'', which was described in 2005 as "the movement's most important legal victory". Roberts's involvement with the case was minimal, as he later stated that he had been involved for less than ten hours in preparing oral arguments. He also argued on behalf of the homeless, in a case which became one of Roberts's "few appellate losses." He also represented, pro bono, a man who was sentenced to death for killing eight people in Florida.
During the late 1990s, while working for Hogan & Hartson, Roberts served as a member of the steering committee of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the conservative Federalist Society
. In 2000, Roberts advised Jeb Bush
, then governor of Florida
, concerning Bush's actions in the Florida election recount
during the presidential election
D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals
On May 9, 2001, President George W. Bush
nominated Roberts to a seat on the D.C. Circuit
to replace Judge James L. Buckley
, who had recently retired. However, the Democratic Party
had a majority in the Senate at the time and was in conflict with Bush over his judicial nominees
. Senate Judiciary Committee
chairman Patrick Leahy
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:
Fourth and Fifth amendments
''Hedgepeth v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority'', 386 F.3d 1148, involved a 12-year-old girl who was arrested, searched, handcuffed, 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
"No one is very happy about the events that led to this litigation," Roberts wrote. 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; "
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 tribunal
s set up by the Bush administration for trying terrorism
suspects known as enemy combatant
s. 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 military commission had the approval of the United States Congress
# the Third Geneva Convention
is a treaty
between nations and as such it does not confer individual rights
and remedies enforceable in U.S. courts;
# even if the Convention could be enforced in U.S. courts, it would not be of assistance to Hamdan at the time because, for a conflict such as the war against Al-Qaeda
(considered by the court as a separate war from that against Afghanistan itself) that is not between two countries, it guarantees only a certain standard of judicial procedure without speaking to the jurisdiction in which the prisoner must be tried.
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 banc334 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."
Appointment to Supreme Court
On July 19, 2005, President Bush nominated
Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court
to fill a vacancy to be created by the retirement of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor
, the first female on the Supreme Court. It was the first Supreme Court nomination since Stephen Breyer
While Roberts's confirmation was pending before the Senate, Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist
died on September 3, 2005. Two days later, Bush withdrew Roberts's nomination as O'Connor's successor and announced Roberts's new nomination as chief justice.
Roberts's testimony on his jurisprudence
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: "
's my job to call balls and strikes, and not to pitch or bat." Among the issues he discussed during the hearings were:
In Senate hearings, Roberts has stated:
Roberts stated the following about federalism
in a 1999 radio interview:
Reviewing Acts of Congress
At a Senate hearing, Roberts stated:
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."
''Roe v. Wade''
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
voting against. 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 more narrow.
On the U.S. Supreme Court
Roberts took the Constitutional oath of office
, administered by Associate Justice John Paul Stevens
at the White House
, on September 29, 2005. On October 3, he took the judicial oath provided for by the Judiciary Act of 1789
at the United States Supreme Court building
Justice Antonin Scalia
said that Roberts "pretty much run
the show the same way" as Rehnquist, albeit "leting
people go on a little longer at conference ... but e'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, "
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. Roberts was ranked 50th in the 2016 Forbes ranking of "The World's Most Powerful People."
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 "
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." His remarks were widely interpreted as a rebuke of President Trump's comments. As Chief Justice, Roberts presided over the impeachment trial of Donald Trump
, which began on January 16 and ended on February 5, 2020.
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
Following his concurrence in ''Citizens United v. FEC
'' (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.
Notice and opportunity to be heard
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.
Abortion and reproductive health care
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 challenge
s, 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 2018, Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh
joined four more liberal justices in declining to hear a case brought by the states of Louisiana and Kansas to deny Medicaid
funding to Planned Parenthood, thereby letting stand lower court rulings in favor of Planned Parenthood. Roberts also joined with liberal justices in 5–4 decisions temporarily blocking a Louisiana abortion restriction
(2019) and later striking down that law (''June Medical Services, LLC v. Russo
'', 2020). The law at issue in ''June'' was similar to one the court struck down in ''Whole Woman's Health v. Hellerstedt
'' (2016), which Roberts had voted to uphold;
in his ''June'' opinion, Roberts wrote that while he believed ''Whole Woman's Health'' was wrongly decided he was joining the majority in ''June'' out of respect for ''stare decisis
It was the first time in his 15 years on the Supreme Court that Roberts had cast a vote to invalidate a law that regulated abortion.
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.
Equal Protection Clause
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 "
rrow tailoring ... require
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 "
e 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.
Health care reform
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.
Comparison to other Court members
Although Roberts is identified as having a conservative judicial philosophy, Roberts is seen as having a more moderate conservative orientation, particularly when ''Bush v. Gore'' is compared to Roberts's vote for the ACA. 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's judicial philosophy is seen as more moderate and conciliatory than Antonin Scalia's and Clarence Thomas'. He wishes more consensus from the Court. Roberts's 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 stated the federal government must recognize same-sex marriages that have been approved by certain states. 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. In the cases of ''Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express, Inc. v. Zarda,'' and ''R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission'' (2020), heard together, Roberts ruled with the 6–3 majority deciding that businesses cannot discriminate against LGBT people in matters of employment. 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.
Roberts and his wife, Jane Sullivan, have been married since 1996.
Sullivan is a lawyer who became a prominent legal recruiter at the firms of Major, Lindsey & Africa and Mlegal. Along with Clarence Thomas, she is on the Board of Trustees at her alma mater, the College of the Holy Cross. The couple have two adopted children: John "Jack" and Josephine "Josie".
Roberts is one of 15 Catholic justices—out of 115 justices total—in the history of the Supreme Court. Of those fifteen justices, six (Roberts, Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett) are currently serving.
In 2007, Roberts had a seizure at his vacation home in St. George, Maine
and stayed overnight at a hospital in Rockport, Maine;
doctors found no identifiable cause.
Roberts had suffered a similar seizure in 1993
but an official Supreme Court statement said that a neurological evaluation "revealed no cause for concern." Federal judges are not required by law to release information about their health.
On June 21, 2020, Roberts fell at a Maryland country club; his forehead required sutures and he stayed overnight in the hospital for observation. Doctors ruled out a seizure and believed dehydration had made Roberts light-headed.
According to a disclosure Roberts submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee prior to his Supreme Court confirmation hearings, Roberts's net worth was more than $6 million, including $1.6 million in stocks. In joining 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.
In 2010, Roberts sold his stock in Pfizer, thereby making it ethical for him to participate in two pending cases involving Pfizer.
* Section III ("The Takings Clause") of the unsigned student note "Developments in the Law: Zoning" (pp. 1427–1708).
* Subsection C ("Contract Clause—Legislative Alteration of Private Pension Agreements: Allied Structural Steel Co. v. Spannaus") of Section I ("Constitutional Law") of the unsigned student note "The Supreme Court, 1977 Term" (pp. 1–339).
* Demographics of the Supreme Court of the United States
* List of Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States
* List of law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States
* List of United States Chief Justices by time in office
* List of U.S. Supreme Court Justices by time in office
* United States Supreme Court cases decided by the Roberts Court
; News articles
* Argetsinger, Amy, and Jo Becker. "The nominee as a young pragmatist: under Reagan, Roberts tackled tough issues." ''Washington Post''. July 22, 2005.
* Becker, Jo, and R. Jeffrey Smith. "Record of accomplishment—and some contradictions". ''The Washington Post''. July 20, 2005.
* Goodnough, Abby. "Nominee Gave Quiet Advice on Recount" New York Times. July 21, 2005.
* Lane, Charles. "Federalist affiliation misstated: Roberts does not belong to group." ''Washington Post''. July 21, 2005.
* Lane, Charles. "Short record as judge is under a microscope." ''Washington Post''. July 21, 2005.
* "Colleagues call high court nominee a smart, self-effacing 'Eagle Scout'." New York Times. July 20, 2005.
* John G. Roberts Questionnaire for Appeals Court Confirmation Hearing (p. 297–339) and responses to Questions from Various Senators (p. 443–461)
* "John G. Roberts Jr." Oyez.
* "John G. Roberts federal campaign contributions." Newsmeat.com. July 19, 2005.
* Joel K. Goldstein, "Not Hearing History: A Critique of Chief Justice Roberts's Reinterpretation of ''Brown''," 69 Ohio St. L.J. 791 (2008).
Appearances at the U.S. Supreme Court
from the Oyez Project
Issue positions and quotes
Judge Roberts's Published Opinions in a searchable database
from The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, July 21, 2005
On first day, Roberts sets no-nonsense tone
– ''The Boston Globe''
Category:20th-century American lawyers
Category:21st-century American lawyers
Category:21st-century American judges
Category:American people of Czech descent
Category:American people of Irish descent
Category:American people of Welsh descent
Category:Catholics from Indiana
Category:Catholics from Maine
Category:Chief Justices of the United States
Category:Federalist Society members
Category:George H. W. Bush administration personnel
Category:Georgetown University Law Center faculty
Category:Harvard College alumni
Category:Harvard Law School alumni
Category:Judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
Category:La Lumiere School alumni
Category:Law clerks of the Supreme Court of the United States
Category:Lawyers from Buffalo, New York
Category:Lawyers from Washington, D.C.
Category:Lawyers who have represented the United States government
Category:People associated with Hogan Lovells
Category:People from LaPorte County, Indiana
Category:People from St. George, Maine
Category:People with epilepsy
Category:Reagan administration personnel
Category:United States court of appeals judges appointed by George W. Bush
Category:United States Department of Justice lawyers
Category:United States federal judges appointed by George W. Bush