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Chief Justice of the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Chief Justice of the United States
Seal of the United States Supreme Court.svg
Seal of the Supreme Court
John Roberts

since September 29, 2005
Supreme Court of the United States
StyleMr. Chief Justice
Your Honor
(when addressed in court)
The Honorable
StatusChief justice
Highest judicial officer
Member ofFederal judiciary
Judicial Conference
Administrative Office of the Courts
SeatSupreme Court Building, Washington, D.C.
AppointerThe President
with Senate advice and consent
Term lengthLife tenure
Constituting instrumentUnited States Constitution
FormationMarch 4, 1789
(230 years ago)
First holderJohn Jay
as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

The Chief Justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States, and as such the highest-ranking judge of the federal judiciary. Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution grants plenary power to the President of the United States to nominate, and with the advice and consent of the United States Senate, appoint a chief justice, who serves until they resign, are impeached and convicted, retire, or die.

The chief justice has significant influence in the selection of cases for review, presides when oral arguments are held, and leads the discussion of cases among the justices. Additionally, when the Court renders an opinion, the chief justice, if in the majority, chooses who writes the Court's opinion. When deciding a case, however, the chief justice's vote counts no more than that of any associate justice.

Article I, Section 3, Clause 6 of the Constitution designates the chief justice to preside during presidential impeachment trials in the Senate; this has occurred twice. Also, while nowhere mandated, the presidential oath of office is typically administered by the Chief Justice.

Additionally, the chief justice serves as a spokesperson for the federal government's judicial branch and acts as a chief administrative officer for the federal courts. The Chief Justice presides over the Judicial Conference and, in that capacity, appoints the director and deputy director of the Administrative Office. The Chief Justice is also an ex officio member of the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution and, by custom, is elected chancellor of the board.

Since the Supreme Court was established in 1789, 17 people have served as chief justice. The first was John Jay (1789–1795). The current chief justice is John Roberts (since 2005). John Rutledge, Edward Douglass White, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan Fiske Stone, and William Rehnquist served as associate justice prior to becoming chief justice.

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  • ✪ Cardigan's Commencement Address by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.
  • ✪ How do US Supreme Court justices get appointed? - Peter Paccone
  • ✪ 40 - Who is the Chief Justice of the U.S. now? - U.S. Citizenship Test
  • ✪ International Public Lecture - Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, Jr.
  • ✪ Speech by Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr.


It is now my distinct honor and pleasure to introduce this year's commencement speaker Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Chief Justice Roberts numerous accomplishments include serving as a law clerk for then associate Justice William H. Rehnquist of the Supreme Court of the United States, whom he would succeed as Chief Justice 25 years later. Among many other notable and distinguished positions, the Chief justice also served as Associate Counsel to President Ronald Reagan and was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit in in 2003. President George W. Bush nominated him as Chief Justice of the United States, and he took his seat in September 2005 But I guess one resume is pretty much like any other, right? Perhaps Chief Justice Roberts' most impressive accomplishment was in marrying Jane, possessor of a distinguished legal career in her own right, and a person who has in the last two years become one of the great advocates for Cardigan Mountain School in Washington, D.C. Thank you, Jane, for all that you have done and do for Cardigan. The Chief Justice and Mrs. Roberts are also two proud parents of their daughter Josie and our own Cardigan cougar Jack who very well may likely be the most uncomfortable person among us right now. I have to admit that as I was preparing for this day, I have paused several times at the thought of this moment. It is not often that one has the opportunity and honor to introduce the Chief Justice of the United States. heck, there have only been 17 of them in our nation's history. Earlier this spring, Cynthia and I visited the Chief Justice at his office at the Supreme Court in Washington as a historian and a bit of a Supreme Court junkie, you might imagine my excitement when I found myself entering the Chief Justice's private chambers. He invited us to sit on a worn leather Davenport, and as soon as we did, pointed out that we were sitting on the couch on which John Quincy Adams died. I can assure you that my reaction was slightly less reposed and was JQA's when he last dented the cushions. I was anxious to tell the Chief Justice how much I enjoyed reading his tightly constructed, withering, but respectful dissent in the Arizona case, but instead I sat start straight in my seat well the Chief Justice introduced the cases to be heard that day and showed us the immensely thick briefs that the Justices study to prepare for each case. At one point during our time together, I asked Chief Justice Roberts how he handles the awesome responsibility which accompanies his office. His response has stuck with me. "I feel like I'm holding the reins of a horse," he said. "I dare not pull on them too hard because I might discover that they aren't attached to anything." I found this to be such an insightful appreciation for the delicate but precise juridical dance that the Chief Justice and his colleagues negotiate as with the United States Constitution as their guide, historical precedents as reference points, and in astute sensibility of our evolving Confederation, they endeavor to balance the immediate and far-reaching implications of their decisions. As one who thinks that the United States Constitution in all of its purposeful ambiguity is perhaps the most brilliant expression of democratic republicanism ever devised, I have some really exciting news to share for our graduates. When you receive your diploma in a few moments, it may feel a little thicker than it usually might. That is because, sorry, that is because tucked into your diploma, each of you will find a pocket-sized edition of the United States Constitution personally signed by Chief Justice Roberts. I urge you to read it and I know that this will be a keepsake that you will cherish for the rest of your lives. Fellas, this stuff doesn't happen. Enjoy it. While Chief Justice Roberts is an extraordinary American, John G. Roberts is an ordinary man. He is known to many in this community not so much because of his job, but because he is part of our Cardigan family. Mr. Chief Justice, and may it please the court, at Cardigan you will always be Jack's Dad first. Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in welcoming the Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. Thank you very much. Thank you very much Rain, somebody said, is like confetti from heaven. So even the heavens are celebrating this morning, joining the rest of us at this wonderful Commencement ceremony. Before we go any further, graduates, you have an important task to perform because behind you are your parents and guardians. Two or three or four years ago they drove into Cardigan, dropped you off, helped you get settled, and then turned around and drove back out the gates. It was an extraordinary sacrifice for them. They drove down the trail of tears back to an emptier and lonelier house. They did that because the decision about your education, they knew, was about you. It was not about them. That sacrifice and others they made have brought you to this point. But this morning is not just about you, it is also about them. So I hope you will stand up and turn around and give them a great round of applause. Please. Now when somebody asked me how the remarks at Cardigan went, I will be able to say they were interrupted by applause. Congratulations Class of 2017. You've reached an important milestone. An important stage of your life is behind you. I'm sorry to be the one to tell you it is the easiest stage of your life, but it is in the books. Now while you've been at Cardigan, you have all been a part of an important international community as well, and I think that needs to be particularly recognized. Tambien felicito a los graduados Cardigan de Mexico y todos los otros estudiante internacionales so presencia como parte de La Comunidad Cardigan, [Lai] hom lugar mas Doubront a Cardigan [Bureau's] Sang Ro Ro Bungay gin Sin, Oran, Chicawa Thiago a Mountain Beau, Namida Now around the country today at colleges, high schools, middle schools, Commencement speakers are standing before impatient graduates, and they are almost always saying the same things. They will say that today is a commencement exercise. It is a beginning, not an end. You should look forward and I think that is true enough. However, I think if you're going to look forward to figure out when you're going, it's good to know where you've been and to look back as well. And I think if you look back to your first afternoon here at Cardigan, perhaps you'll recall that you were lonely, perhaps you will recall that you were a little scared, a little anxious. And now look at you. You are surrounded by friends that you call brothers, and you are confident in facing the next step in your education. It is worth trying to think why that is so, and when you do, I think you may appreciate that it was because of the support of your classmates in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in the dorms. And as far as the confidence goes, I think you will appreciate that it is not because you succeeded at everything you did, but because with the help of your friends you are not afraid to fail. And if you did fail, you got up and tried again. And if you failed again, you got up and tried again. And if you failed again, it might be time to think about doing something else. It was not just success, but not being afraid to fail, that brought you to this point. Now the Commencement speakers will typically also wish you good luck and extend good wishes to you. I will not do that, and I'll tell you why. From time to time in the years to come, I hope you will be treated unfairly so that you will come to know the value of justice. I hope that you will suffer betrayal, because that will teach you the importance of loyalty. Sorry to say, but I hope you will be lonely from time to time so that you don't take friends for granted. I wish you bad luck again from time to time, so that you will be conscious of the role of chance in life and understand that your success is not completely deserved and that the failure of others is not completely deserved either. And when you lose as you will from time to time, I hope every now and then your opponent will gloat over your failure. It is a way for you to understand the importance of sportsmanship. I hope you'll be ignored so you know the importance of listening to others. And I hope you will have just enough pain to learn compassion. Whether I wish these things or not they're going to happen, and whether you you benefit from them or not will depend upon your ability to see the message in your misfortunes. Well Commencement speakers are also expected to give some advice. They give grand advice and they give some useful tips. The most common grand advice they give is for you to be yourself. It is an odd piece of advice to give people dressed identically, but you should be yourself, but you should understand what that means. Unless you are perfect, it does not mean don't make any changes. In a certain sense you should not be yourself, you should try to become something better. People say be yourself because they want you to resist the impulse to conform to what others want you to be But you can't be yourself if you don't learn who you are, and you can't learn who you are unless you think about it. The Greek Philosopher Socrates said the unexamined life is not worth living. And while "Just Do It" may be a good model for some things, it's not a good model when it's time to figure out how to live your life that is before you. And one important clue to living a good life, is to not to try to live THE good life. The best way to lose the values that are central to who you are is frankly not to think about them at all. So that's the deep advice, now some tips as you get ready to go to your new school. Over the last couple of years I've gotten to know many of you young men pretty well, and I know you are good guys. But you are also privileged young men, and if you weren't privileged when you came here, you're privileged now because you have been here. My advice is don't act like it. When you get to your new school, walk up and introduce yourself to the person who is raking the leaves, shoveling the snow, or emptying the trash. Learn their name and call them by their name during your time at the school. Another piece of advice when you pass by people you don't recognize on the walks, smile, look them in the eye, and say hello. The worst thing that will happen is that you will become known as the young man who smiles and says hello. And that is not a bad thing to start with. You've been at a school with just boys. Most of you will be going to a school with girls. I have no advice for you. The last bit of advice I'll give you is very simple, but I think it could make a big difference in your life. Once a week you should write a note to someone. Not an email, a note on a piece of paper. It will take you exactly 10 minutes. Talk to an adult, let them tell you what a stamp is, and you can put the stamp on the envelope. Again, ten minutes once a week. I will help you right now. I will dictate to you the first note you should write. It will say, Dear fill in the name of the teacher at Cardigan Mountain school, say I have started at this new school. We are reading blank in English, football or soccer practice is hard, but I'm enjoying it. Thank you for teaching me. Put it in an envelope, put a stamp on it, and send it. It will mean a great deal to people who for reasons most of us cannot contemplate, have dedicated themselves to teaching middle school boys. As I said that will take you exactly ten minutes a week, by the end of the school year you will have sent notes to 40 people. Forty people will feel a little more special because you did and they will think you are very special because of what you did. Now what else is going to carry that dividend during your time at school? Enough advice. I would like to end by reading some important lyrics. I cited the Greek Philosopher Socrates earlier, these lyrics are from the great American Philosopher Bob Dylan. There are almost 50 years old. He wrote them for his son Jesse who he was missing while he was on tour. They list the hopes that a parent might have for a son and for a daughter. There are also good goals for a son and a daughter. The wishes are beautiful, they're timeless, they're universal. They're good and true, except for one. It is the wish that gives the song its title and its refrain That wish is a parent's lament. It's not a good wish. So these are the lyrics from "Forever Young" by Bob Dylan. May God bless you and keep you always, may your wishes all come true, May you always do for others and let others do for you, May you build a ladder to the stars and climb on every rung, and may you stay forever young. May you grow up to be righteous, may you grow up to be true, May you always know the truth and see the light surrounding you, May you always be courageous, stand upright, and be strong, and may you stay forever young. May your hands always be busy, may your feet always be swift, May you have a strong foundation when the winds of changes shift, may your heart always be joyful, May your song always be sung, and may you stay forever young. Thank you.


Origin, title, and appointment to office

The United States Constitution does not explicitly establish an office of Chief Justice, but presupposes its existence with a single reference in Article I, Section 3, Clause 6: "When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside." Nothing more is said in the Constitution regarding the office. Article III, Section 1, which authorizes the establishment of the Supreme Court, refers to all members of the Court simply as "judges". The Judiciary Act of 1789 created the distinctive titles of Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

In 1866, at the urging of Salmon P. Chase, Congress restyled the chief justice's title to the current Chief Justice of the United States. The first person whose Supreme Court commission contained the modified title was Melville Fuller in 1888.[1] The associate justices' title was not altered in 1866, and remains as originally created.

The chief justice, like all federal judges, is nominated by the President and confirmed to office by the U.S. Senate. Article III, Section 1 of the Constitution specifies that they "shall hold their Offices during good Behavior". This language means that the appointments are effectively for life, and that, once in office, justices' tenure ends only when they die, retire, resign, or are removed from office through the impeachment process. Since 1789, 15 presidents have made a total of 22 official nominations to the position.[2]

The salary of the chief justice is set by Congress; the current (2018) annual salary is $267,000, which is slightly higher than that of associate justices, which is $255,300.[3]

The practice of appointing an individual to serve as chief justice is grounded in tradition; while the Constitution mandates that there be a chief justice, it is silent on the subject of how one is chosen and by whom. There is no specific constitutional prohibition against using another method to select the chief justice from among those justices properly appointed and confirmed to the Supreme Court. Constitutional law scholar Todd Pettys has proposed that presidential appointment of chief justices should be done away with, and replaced by a process that permits the Justices to select their own chief justice.[4]

Three incumbent associate justices have been nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate as chief justice: Edward Douglass White in 1910, Harlan Fiske Stone in 1941, and William Rehnquist in 1986. A fourth, Abe Fortas, was nominated to the position in 1968, but was not confirmed. As an associate justice does not have to resign his or her seat on the Court in order to be nominated as chief justice, Fortas remained an associate justice. Similarly, when associate justice William Cushing was nominated and confirmed as chief justice in January 1796, but declined the office, he too remained on the Court. Two former associate justices subsequently returned to service on the Court as chief justice. John Rutledge was the first. President Washington gave him a recess appointment in 1795. However, his subsequent nomination to the office was not confirmed by the Senate, and he left office and the Court. In 1933, former associate justice Charles Evans Hughes was confirmed as chief justice. Additionally, in December 1800, former chief justice John Jay was nominated and confirmed to the position a second time, but ultimately declined it, opening the way for the appointment of John Marshall.[2]


Along with his general responsibilities as a member of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice has several unique duties to fulfill.

Impeachment trials

Article I, section 3 of the U.S. Constitution stipulates that the Chief Justice shall preside over impeachment trials of the President of the United States in the U.S. Senate. Two Chief Justices, Salmon P. Chase and William Rehnquist, have presided over the trial in the Senate that follows an impeachment of the president – Chase in 1868 over the proceedings against President Andrew Johnson and Rehnquist in 1999 over the proceedings against President Bill Clinton. Both presidents were subsequently acquitted.


Many of the Court's procedures and inner workings are governed by the rules of protocol based on the seniority of the justices. The chief justice always ranks first in the order of precedence—regardless of the length of the officeholder's service (even if shorter than that of one or more associate justices). This elevated status has enabled successive chief justices to define and refine both the Court's culture and its judicial priorities.

The chief justice sets the agenda for the weekly meetings where the justices review the petitions for certiorari, to decide whether to hear or deny each case. The Supreme Court agrees to hear less than one percent of the cases petitioned to it. While associate justices may append items to the weekly agenda, in practice this initial agenda-setting power of the chief justice has significant influence over the direction of the court. Nonetheless, a chief justice's influence may be limited by circumstances and the associate justices' understanding of legal principles; it is definitely limited by the fact that he has only a single vote of nine on the decision whether to grant or deny certiorari.[5][6]

Despite the chief justice's elevated stature, his vote carries the same legal weight as the vote of each associate justice. Additionally, he has no legal authority to overrule the verdicts or interpretations of the other eight judges or tamper with them.[5] The task of assigning who shall write the opinion for the majority falls to the most senior justice in the majority. Thus, when the chief justice is in the majority, he always assigns the opinion.[7] Early in his tenure, Chief Justice John Marshall insisted upon holdings which the justices could unanimously back as a means to establish and build the Court's national prestige. In doing so, Marshall would often write the opinions himself, and actively discouraged dissenting opinions. Associate Justice William Johnson eventually persuaded Marshall and the rest of the Court to adopt its present practice: one justice writes an opinion for the majority, and the rest are free to write their own separate opinions or not, whether concurring or dissenting.[8]

The chief justice's formal prerogative—when in the majority—to assign which justice will write the Court's opinion is perhaps his most influential power,[6] as this enables him to influence the historical record.[5] He "may assign this task to the individual justice best able to hold together a fragile coalition, to an ideologically amenable colleague, or to himself." Opinion authors can have a big influence on the content of an opinion; two justices in the same majority, given the opportunity, might write very different majority opinions.[6] A chief justice who knows well the associate justices can therefore do much—by the simple act of selecting the justice who writes the opinion of the court—to affect the general character or tone of an opinion, which in turn can affect the interpretation of that opinion in cases before lower courts in the years to come.

Additionally, the chief justice chairs the conferences where cases are discussed and tentatively voted on by the justices. He normally speaks first and so has influence in framing the discussion. Although the chief justice votes first—the Court votes in order of seniority—he may strategically pass in order to ensure membership in the majority if desired.[6] It is reported that:

Chief Justice Warren Burger was renowned, and even vilified in some quarters, for voting strategically during conference discussions on the Supreme Court in order to control the Court’s agenda through opinion assignment. Indeed, Burger is said to have often changed votes to join the majority coalition, cast "phony votes" by voting against his preferred position, and declined to express a position at conference.[9]

Oath of office

The Chief Justice typically administers the oath of office at the inauguration of the President of the United States. This is a tradition, rather than a constitutional responsibility of the Chief Justice; the Constitution does not require that the oath be administered by anyone in particular, simply that it be taken by the president. Law empowers any federal and state judge, as well as notaries public (such as John Calvin Coolidge, Sr.), to administer oaths and affirmations.

If the Chief Justice is ill or incapacitated, the oath is usually administered by the next senior member of the Supreme Court. Seven times, someone other than the Chief Justice of the United States administered the oath of office to the President.[10] Robert Livingston, as Chancellor of the State of New York (the state's highest ranking judicial office), administered the oath of office to George Washington at his first inauguration; there was no Chief Justice of the United States, nor any other federal judge prior to their appointments by President Washington in the months following his inauguration. William Cushing, an associate justice of the Supreme Court, administered Washington's second oath of office in 1793. Calvin Coolidge's father, a notary public, administered the oath to his son after the death of Warren Harding.[11] This, however, was contested upon Coolidge's return to Washington and his oath was re-administered by Judge Adolph A. Hoehling, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.[12] John Tyler and Millard Fillmore were both sworn in on the death of their predecessors by Chief Justice William Cranch of the Circuit Court of the District of Columbia.[13] Chester A. Arthur and Theodore Roosevelt's initial oaths reflected the unexpected nature of their taking office. On November 22, 1963, after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Judge Sarah T. Hughes, a federal district court judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas, administered the oath of office to then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson aboard the presidential airplane.

In addition, the Chief Justice ordinarily administers the oath of office to newly appointed and confirmed associate justices, whereas the senior associate justice will normally swear in a new Chief Justice or vice president.

Other duties

Since the tenure of William Howard Taft, the office of the Chief Justice has moved beyond just first among equals.[14] The Chief Justice also:

Unlike Senators and Representatives who are constitutionally prohibited from holding any other "office of trust or profit" of the United States or of any state while holding their congressional seats, the Chief Justice and the other members of the federal judiciary are not barred from serving in other positions. Chief Justice John Jay served as a diplomat to negotiate the so-called Jay Treaty (also known as the Treaty of London of 1794), Justice Robert H. Jackson was appointed by President Truman to be the U.S. Prosecutor in the Nuremberg trials of leading Nazis, and Chief Justice Earl Warren chaired The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy. As described above, the Chief Justice holds office in the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress.

Disability or vacancy

Under 28 U.S.C. § 3, when the chief justice is unable to discharge his functions, or when that office is vacant, the chief justice's duties are carried out by the most senior associate justice until the disability or vacancy ends.[4] Currently, since August 2018, Clarence Thomas is the most senior associate justice.

List of Chief Justices

Since the Supreme Court was established in 1789, the following 17 persons have served as Chief Justice:[16][17]

Chief Justice Date confirmed
Tenure[a] Tenure length Appointed by Prior position[b]
1 CJ Jay.tif John Jay
September 26, 1789
October 19, 1789

June 29, 1795
5 years, 253 days George Washington Acting
United States Secretary of State
John Rutledge.jpg
John Rutledge
December 15, 1795
August 12, 1795[d]

December 28, 1795
(Resigned, nomination having been rejected)
138 days Chief Justice of the
South Carolina Court of
Common Pleas and Sessions
Associate Justice
of the Supreme Court

3 CJ Ellsworth.tif Oliver Ellsworth
March 4, 1796
March 8, 1796

December 15, 1800
4 years, 282 days United States Senator
from Connecticut
CJ Marshall copy.png
John Marshall
January 27, 1801
February 4, 1801

July 6, 1835
34 years, 152 days John Adams 4th
United States Secretary of State
5 CJ Taney.tif Roger B. Taney
March 15, 1836
March 28, 1836

October 12, 1864
28 years, 198 days Andrew Jackson 12th
United States Secretary
of the Treasury

6 CJ Chase.tif Salmon P. Chase
December 6, 1864
December 15, 1864

May 7, 1873
8 years, 143 days Abraham Lincoln 25th
United States Secretary
of the Treasury

7 CJ Waite.tif Morrison Waite
January 21, 1874
March 4, 1874

March 23, 1888
14 years, 19 days Ulysses S. Grant Ohio State Senator
Presiding officer,
Ohio constitutional convention
8 CJ Fuller.tif Melville Fuller
July 20, 1888
October 8, 1888

July 4, 1910
21 years, 269 days Grover Cleveland President,
Illinois State Bar Association
Illinois State Representative
9 CJ White.tif Edward Douglass White
December 12, 1910[e]
December 19, 1910

May 19, 1921
10 years, 151 days William Howard Taft Associate Justice
of the Supreme Court

10 CJ Taft.tif William Howard Taft
June 30, 1921
July 11, 1921

February 3, 1930
8 years, 207 days Warren G. Harding 27th
President of the United States
11 CJ Hughes.tif Charles Evans Hughes
February 13, 1930
February 24, 1930

June 30, 1941
11 years, 126 days Herbert Hoover 44th
United States Secretary of State
Associate Justice
of the Supreme Court

12 CJ Stone.tif Harlan F. Stone
June 27, 1941[e]
July 3, 1941

April 22, 1946
4 years, 293 days Franklin D. Roosevelt Associate Justice
of the Supreme Court

13 CJ Vinson.tif Fred M. Vinson
June 20, 1946
June 24, 1946

September 8, 1953
7 years, 76 days Harry S. Truman 53rd
United States Secretary
of the Treasury

14 CJ Warren.tif Earl Warren
March 1, 1954
October 5, 1953[d]

June 23, 1969
15 years, 261 days Dwight D. Eisenhower 30th
Governor of California
15 CJ Burger.tif Warren E. Burger
June 9, 1969
June 23, 1969

September 26, 1986
17 years, 95 days Richard Nixon Judge of the
United States Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia Circuit

16 CJ Rehnquist.tif William Rehnquist
September 17, 1986[e]
September 26, 1986

September 3, 2005
18 years, 342 days Ronald Reagan Associate Justice
of the Supreme Court

17 CJ Roberts.tif John Roberts
(born 1955)
September 29, 2005
September 29, 2005

13 years, 171 days George W. Bush Judge of the
United States Court of Appeals
for the District of Columbia Circuit



  1. ^ The start date given here for each chief justice is the day they took the oath of office, and the end date is the day of the justice's death, resignation, or retirement.
  2. ^ Listed here (unless otherwise noted) is the position—either with a U.S. state or the federal government—held by the individual immediately prior to becoming Chief Justice of the United States.
  3. ^ This was the first Supreme Court nomination to be rejected by the United States Senate. Rutledge remains the only "recess appointed" justice not to be subsequently confirmed by the Senate.
  4. ^ a b Recess appointment
  5. ^ a b c Elevated from associate justice to chief justice while serving on the Supreme Court. The nomination of a sitting associate justice to be chief justice is subject to a separate confirmation process.

See also


  1. ^ "Administrative Agencies: Office of the Chief Justice, 1789–present". Washington, D.C.: Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  2. ^ a b McMillion, Barry J.; Rutkus, Denis Steven (July 6, 2018). "Supreme Court Nominations, 1789 to 2017: Actions by the Senate, the Judiciary Committee, and the President" (PDF). (Federation of American Scientists). Washington, D.C.: Congressional Research Service. Retrieved August 7, 2018.
  3. ^ "Judicial Compensation". Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  4. ^ a b Pettys, Todd E. (2006). "Choosing a Chief Justice: Presidential Prerogative or a Job for the Court?". Journal of Law & Politics. The University of Iowa College of Law. 22 (3): 231–281. SSRN 958829.
  5. ^ a b c "Judiciary". Ithaca, New York: Legal Information Institute, Cornell Law School. Retrieved May 23, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Cross, Frank B.; Lindquist, Stefanie (June 2006). "The decisional significance of the Chief Justice" (PDF). University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: University of Pennsylvania Law School. 154 (6): 1665–1707. doi:10.2307/40041349. JSTOR 40041349.
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Further reading

External links

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