John Glover Roberts, Jr.

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  2. March 24, 2014 5:25 am

John Glover Roberts, Jr.

John Glover Roberts, Jr. is currently the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. President George W. Bush first nominated Roberts to take the place of Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor who had announced her intention to retire upon the confirmation of her successor. However, President Bush withdrew Roberts’ nomination as O’Connor’s successor after Chief Justice William Rehnquist passed away in office. President Bush renominated Roberts as Rehnquist’s successor. Roberts officially joined the Court on September 29, 2005. At the age of 50, Roberts became the 17th Chief Justice and the youngest person to assume that presiding role since 1801.

Roberts was born in New York but he is a native of Indiana. He attended Harvard University where he received his bachelor’s degree and Juris Doctorate with high honors. After his admittance to the bar, Roberts began clerking for one of the most respected appellate court judges in the country, the Honorable Henry J. Friendly. At the end of this clerkship, Roberts clerked for the former Chief Justice Rehnquist when he was an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court during the 1980 term.

Roberts went to on to work for the administrations of President Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush, first in the Department of Justice and then in the Office of White House Counsel. After Bill Clinton won the 1992 presidential election, Roberts left government service and practiced law in the private sector until 2003, when he was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Although Roberts is known as a conservative Justice, he joined the liberals and was the swing vote that upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “ObamaCare.” Roberts surprised many people by concluding that the law’s individual mandate to secure health insurance was permissible under the Tax Clause and not the Commerce Clause as argued by the government.


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