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John Roberts became Chief Justice of the Supreme Court after he was nominated by George W. Bush in 2005.
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U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Glover Roberts Jr. was born on January 27, 1955 in Buffalo, New York. Roberts grew up in Long Beach, Indiana and attended Harvard Law School. He served on U.S Court of Appeals for two years before being confirmed as Chief Justice of U.S. Supreme Court in 2005.
John Glover Roberts Jr., the only son of John G. "Jack" Roberts Sr. and Rosemary Podrasky Roberts, was born in Buffalo, New York. In 1959, the family moved to Long Beach, Indiana where John grew up with his three sisters, Kathy, Peggy and Barbara. He attended Notre Dame Elementary School in Long Beach and then La Lumiere boarding school in La Porte, Indiana. John was an excellent student, very devoted to his studies, and he participated in several extracurricular activities including choir, drama, and student council. Though not an exceptionally gifted athlete, Roberts was named captain of the high school football team because of his leadership skills and excelled as a wrestler, becoming Regional Champion while at La Lumiere.
John Roberts entered Harvard College with aspirations of becoming a history professor. During the summers, he worked in a steel mill in Indiana to help pay his tuition. After graduating summa cum laude in three years, Roberts attended Harvard Law School, where he discovered his love for the law. He was managing editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated magna cum laude with a J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence) in 1979. Due to his high honors at Harvard Law, he was recruited to clerk for Judge Henry Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit. In 1980, he clerked for then-Associate Justice William Rehnquist on the U.S. Supreme Court. Legal analysts believe that working for both Friendly and Rehnquist influenced Roberts's conservative approach to the law, including his skepticism of federal power over the states and his support of broad executive branch powers in foreign and military affairs.
In 1982, John Roberts served as aide to U.S Attorney General William French Smith and later as an aide to White House counsel Fred Fielding in the Reagan Administration. During these years, Roberts earned the reputation of being a political pragmatist, tackling some of the administration’s toughest issues (such as school busing) and matching wits with legal scholars and members of Congress. After working as an associate at the Washington D.C. law firm of Hogan & Hartson from 1987 to 1989, Roberts returned to the Justice Department under President George H.W. Bush as Principal Deputy Solicitor General from 1989 to 1993. In 1992, President Bush nominated Roberts to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. District, but no Senate vote was held and his nomination expired when Bush left office.
During the Clinton administration, John Roberts returned to Hogan & Hartson as a partner where he became head of the appellate division arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. During this time, Roberts argued in favor of a government regulation that banned abortion-related counseling by federally funded family-planning programs.
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The Supreme Court has presided over landmark cases that have changed the history of the United States. At times, the judges themselves have been the history makers, as in the case of Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American Justice; Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court; and Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Here’s a look at the famous judges who have served on the United States' highest court.
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