John G. Roberts

John G. Roberts is currently the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States of America. He was born in 1955 and grew up in a small town in Indiana. He's married with two children and is a Roman Catholic. Roberts graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1979. So the Chief Justice isn't some intellectual slouch.

We have a way - most of us - of demonizing people with opinions and beliefs that differ with our own. That's one of our main problems today - no one can talk to someone with an opposing position, and, as we will see, Roberts has taken some pretty extreme positions on major issues. Nevertheless, lets take a little closer look at who he is.

While an undergraduate at Harvard, Roberts want to become a history professor. He worked summer vacations in a steel mill to help pay for his school expenses. So, right there. Here's a guy who got down and put in some manual labor in order to get through school. That's a plus in my book. I can relate to a guy like this even though I might (and do) find most of his rulings awful. What I mean is that I could talk to someone like Roberts who has been on the line and knows what a day's work is. He's not just some rich kid who scooted his way through school and life. He graduated from Harvard in three years, summa cum laude.

Before entering the Supreme Court, Roberts worked in the White House for four years, was a lecturer at Georgetown between 2005 and 2006, clerked for William Hubbs Rehnquist for a year, served as a judge in the U.S. Court of Appeals, and worked in the office of the U.S. Attorney General. He also worked in private practice.

George W. Bush nominated Roberts for the Supreme Court in 2005. He was to replace Sandra Day O'Connor. However, before his nomination could be acted upon, Chief Justice William Rehnquist died, leaving the Chief Justice position open. Bush withdrew his original nomination and nominated Roberts for the Chief Justice position.

During the confirmation hearing, Roberts professed to have no overall jurisprudential philosophy and argued that that was the best way to work with the Constitution. He famously compared a justice to a baseball umpire and said, ""[I]t's my job to call balls and strikes, and not to pitch or bat." Roberts was confirmed after four days of hearings by a vote of 78-22.

Roberts is generally considered to be moderately conservative. According to the website,, Roberts is moderately conservative on issues relating to individual rights. For example, he disagrees with the position that women have an unrestricted right to abortion, he strongly disagrees with the position of legally requiring the hiring of women & minorities; he strongly agrees with keeping God in the public sphere, he strongly disagrees with more enforcement of the right to vote and he agrees that there are no rights to clean air and water.

On domestic issues, Roberts continues to take conservative positions. For example, he is a strong proponent of the right to own weapons, he opposes the legalization of marijuana.

Among Robert's decisions on the Court: were: against using race as a criterion in voluntary desegregtion policiies, voted with the minority in the ruling to legalize gay marriage, voted with the majority in the Citizen's United case giving corporations the same rights as individual citizens in political speech, ruled that in certain circumstances local governments can be exempt from parts of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, voted to uphold the legality of Obamacare in 2015.

For more information on Chief Justice Roberts see:


Inside Gov

Supreme Court of the United States














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