Feature: John Roberts


The Hon. John Roberts, taken by Steve Petteway

Dylan Andrus, Reporter

With the recent death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and political tension regarding her replacement, one can forget that the Supreme Court is a body filled with unique individuals both in personality and judicial philosophies. One such individual is the Chief Justice on the Court, John Roberts.

John Glover Roberts was born in Buffalo, NY on January 27th, 1955. After graduating high school, he attended Harvard where he got both his Bachelor of Arts and Doctorate of Jurisprudence. He then proceeded to serve the Attorney General and President Reagan before eventually joining the Solicitor General’s Office under President Bush. He employed such as a stepping stone to a seat on the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Serving just two years there, he was then nominated and confirmed as Chief Justice following the death of William Rehnquist, the previous Chief Justice.

Roberts has widely been regarded as being on the conservative wing of the Supreme Court, but has started to shift more moderate as of the last two or so years. Roberts has adamantly shown a lack of favor for judicial activism, though has shown willing to break tradition when necessary, best displaying such during his confirmation when he stated “the Court in [Brown v. Board of Education], 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.”

Overall, Chief Justice Roberts has been a force in trying to ensure the just administration of the law, and has taken great efforts to ensure the integrity and skill of the judiciary. In these turbulent times, it is always good to take a look at more solid examples of when the system acts well–Roberts is one such example.