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Personal Profile of Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr.


Judge John G. Roberts, Jr of the US Circuit Court of Appeals:

The President nominated US appeals court Judge John Roberts in July 2005 to fill the Supreme Court vacancy. Described as smart, cautious, genial and fair-minded, Roberts is a conservative Washington insider who has worked at the White House, Justice Department and in private practice.

In 2 years as judge, Roberts authored 40 opinions, only 3 of which drew dissent, and won 25 of 39 cases he argued in the Supreme Court. Roberts will be confirmed by the Senate, barring major new revelations.

Advisor to Florida Governor Jeb Bush in 2000 Presidential election:

Three sources who were personally aware of Judge Roberts' role said he gave Gov. Jeb Bush critical advice on how the Florida Legislature could constitutionally name George Bush the winner at a time when Republicans feared that if the recount were to continue the courts might force a different choice, per the Dallas Morning News.

Roberts' partisanship during the recount causes some Democrats, including Rep. Robert Wexler(D-FL) to suggest that his nomination should be rejected by the Senate.

Legal Career Path:

- Law clerk, Hon. Henry Friendly, Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, 1979-1980

- Law clerk, Justice Rehnquist, US Supreme Court, 1980-1981

- Special assistant to attorney general, Department of Justice, 1981-1982

- Associate counsel to President Reagan, White House Counsel's Office, 1982-1986

- Attorney at prestigious Hogan & Hartson, the oldest and largest law firm in Washington, DC, 1986-1989, 1993-2003

- Deputy solicitor general under President Bush, Department of Justice, 1989-1993

Judiciary Career Path:

- 1992 - Nominated to US Court of Appeals by Bush 1, but never received a Senate vote, due to fears over his partisanship

- 2001 - Nominated to US Court of Appeals by Bush 2, but blocked by Democrats on Senate Judiciary Committee

- 2003 - Nominated to US Court of Appeals by Bush 2. Confirmed by Republican-led Senate without roll call vote.

- 2005 - Nominated to US Supreme Court to fill vacancy left by retiring Justice O'Connor

Connections to Bush Family Campaigns & Republican Groups:

Executive Committee, DC Lawyers for Bush-Quayle, 1988

Member, Lawyers for Bush-Cheney (major player in 2000 Florida recount)

Member, National Republican Lawyer Association

Known campaign contributions: $1000 to George Bush, 2000; $1000 to Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN), 2000; $1235 to Senator Peter Fitzgerald (R-IL), 1998; $5675 to Hogan & Hartson PAC, 1993-2000.

Personal Data:

Birth - January 27, 1955 in Buffalo, New York

Education - BA (in 3 years) in History from Harvard University in 1976; JD from Harvard Law School in 1979, where he was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.

Family - Married to Jane Sullivan Roberts since 1996; two adopted children, Josie, age 5 and Jack, age 4. The children attend an Episcopal Day School.

Faith - A lifelong Catholic

Hobbies - Golf, reading

Growing Up John Roberts:

Roberts' father, a Bethelehem Steel engineer, moved his family from New York to Indiana for a job transfer when John was in 2nd grade. Roberts attended the last 3 years of high school at LaLumiere, an exclusive Catholic boarding school where he played sports and participated in choir and drama programs. An excellent student, he graduated atop his 25-member class.Their family was happy and tight-knit, and he remains very close to his 3 sisters.

The John G. Roberts, Jr Persona:

"It's kind of remarkable that he's found this straight-arrow Eagle Scout whose name sounds like Wonder Bread and who has almost no footprints, but who undoubtedly will vote more conservatively than O'Connor," said Law Professor Fred Greenstein of Princeton University to the Washington Post.

Roberts has a reputation for being quiet and reserved, with a brilliant mind and a pleasant personality. Senator Jon Corzine (D-NJ) describes Roberts as "a man of high character."

Jane Sullivan Roberts, Married to Judge John Roberts:

Jane Sullivan Roberts is an accomplished attorney at the respected Washington DC law firm, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Mrs. Roberts is Catholic, and was active in Feminists for Life, a pro-life organization. She's earned 4 college degrees, including a BA from Holy Cross in 1976, an MS from Brown University in 1981 and a JD in 1984 from Georgetown University Law Center. She became a Trustee of Holy Cross in 2001. In her 20s, she backpacked through Europe and Nepal.

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