Chief Justice laments budget, sequester impact on federal courts
December 31st, 2013
06:16 PM ET
7 months ago

Chief Justice laments budget, sequester impact on federal courts

Washington (CNN) – Lamenting he is ringing in the new year with an old concern, Chief Justice John Roberts is again warning leaders in the other two branches of government that continuing budget shortfalls and sequestration cuts will create a "bleak" future for the fair administration of justice in the nation's federal courts.

In his annual year-end report on the judiciary, Roberts on Tuesday said the courts have already made significant unilateral cuts in funding, adding a prolonged reduction by Congress would be extremely hard to overcome.

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Filed under: John Roberts • Supreme Court
Supreme Court asked to stop NSA telephone surveillance
July 8th, 2013
05:23 PM ET
1 year ago

Supreme Court asked to stop NSA telephone surveillance

Washington (CNN) - The U.S. Supreme Court is being asked to stop the National Security Agency's surveillance of domestic telephone communications data.

In an emergency appeal filed Monday, a privacy rights group claimed a secret federal court improperly authorized the government to collect the electronic records, and said only the justices could resolve the statutory issues at stake.

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Filed under: John Roberts • NSA • Supreme Court
June 26th, 2013
06:30 PM ET
1 year ago

Chief Justice's cousin 'excited,' can marry partner

(CNN) - Jean Podrasky, first cousin of Chief Justice John Roberts, said she had mixed feelings Wednesday about her relative's decisions on same-sex marriage cases at the Supreme Court.

"I have to say I am disappointed. I was completely stunned by the split rulings, but I'm sure this is just in keeping with his conservative beliefs," she said in an interview to air Wednesday night on CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360."
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Filed under: John Roberts • Same-sex marriage
Chief Justice Roberts' lesbian cousin to attend same-sex marriage hearings
March 25th, 2013
12:24 PM ET
1 year ago

Chief Justice Roberts' lesbian cousin to attend same-sex marriage hearings

(CNN) - Jean Podrasky, a lesbian whose cousin happens to be Chief Justice John Roberts, will attend this week's Supreme Court oral arguments on two cases dealing with same-sex marriage, CNN confirmed Monday.

In an op-ed emailed to members of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, Podrasky expressed optimism that her first cousin, a conservative, will rule in favor of her–and countless others'–desire to marry.
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Filed under: John Roberts • Same-sex marriage • Supreme Court
Chief Justice Roberts to get another go at oath
January 4th, 2013
09:35 AM ET
2 years ago

Chief Justice Roberts to get another go at oath

Washington (CNN) – His appearance in the 2009 inauguration is remembered mostly for the awkward moment he bungled the words to the presidential oath of office.

But on Friday, President Barack Obama announced he was giving Chief Justice John Roberts another chance – two in fact – to administer the oath at the president's second inauguration in mid-January.
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Filed under: John Roberts • President Obama
Chief Justice laments 'fiscal cliff' effects on federal courts
December 31st, 2012
06:38 PM ET
1 year ago

Chief Justice laments 'fiscal cliff' effects on federal courts

Washington (CNN) – Chief Justice John Roberts is warning leaders in the other two branches of the federal government that the pending "fiscal cliff" would "inevitably result in the delay or denial of justice for the people the courts serve."

In his annual year-end report on the federal judiciary, Roberts on Monday said the federal courts have already made significant cuts in their funding, representing only about two-tenths of 1% of the entire federal budget. He said a prolonged reduction would be extremely hard to overcome.

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Filed under: Fiscal Cliff • John Roberts • Supreme Court
Boehner staff gets private swearing-in by Chief Justice Roberts
January 4th, 2011
11:23 AM ET
4 years ago

Boehner staff gets private swearing-in by Chief Justice Roberts

Washington (CNN) - John Boehner will be sworn in Wednesday as the new House Speaker, but his congressional aides were sworn in Tuesday morning by Chief Justice John Roberts in a private ceremony in the Capitol.

According to a senior Boehner aide, the incoming Speaker requested that the Chief Justice perform the swearing in for his aides, and attended the ceremony.

Boehner will take the oath as Speaker on Wednesday afternoon.


Filed under: John Boehner • John Roberts
June 30th, 2010
08:09 PM ET
4 years ago

Kagan and Roberts united at confirmation hearings

ALT TEXT

Kagan's candid but cautious approach in three days of hearings looks like it came out of the playbook John Roberts used when he went before senators in 2005. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - If confirmed to the Supreme Court as expected, Elena Kagan would work with and independently of Chief Justice John Roberts. That's the nature of the court's internal dynamics, and the concept of the one justice-one vote system in which the chief justice is often called "first among equals."

Roberts' five-year leadership of the nine-member court has frequently been as much a part of Kagan's Senate confirmation hearing this week as the nominee herself. Despite their clear ideological differences, it has been striking how much these two clearly bright legal minds share.

Kagan's candid but cautious approach in three days of hearings looks like it came out of the playbook Roberts used when he went before senators in 2005. She concluded her testimony Wednesday relatively unscathed, clearing the path for a likely confirmation in coming weeks.

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Filed under: Elena Kagan • John Roberts • Supreme Court
March 10th, 2010
04:32 PM ET
4 years ago

Roberts calls partisanship at State of the Union 'very troubling'

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday said the annual State of the Union address has ‘degenerated into a political pep rally.’
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts on Tuesday said the annual State of the Union address has ‘degenerated into a political pep rally.’

Washington (CNN) – Simmering tension between the White House and the Supreme Court spilled into public this week when Chief Justice John Roberts labeled the political atmosphere at the recent State of the Union address "very troubling."

With six members of the court just a few feet away in the audience, President Barack Obama used the occasion to directly criticize the conservative majority's ruling in a campaign finance case.

Roberts told students at the University of Alabama on Tuesday that such partisanship at the annual address in Congress leaves him questioning whether members of the court should continue to attend, as most do, in accord with tradition.

"It does cause me to think whether or not it makes sense for us to be there" said the 55-year-old Roberts. "To the extent the State of the Union has degenerated into a political pep rally, I'm not sure why we're there."

Roberts was among the five justices who ruled in favor of loosening previous congressionally mandated restrictions on so-called "corporate" spending in federal elections. The decision opened up spending for a range of corporations, unions and advocacy groups.

The White House was quick to attack Roberts indirectly, focusing on the ruling itself, and Obama continued the criticism in his address, saying, "With all due deference to the separation of powers, the Supreme Court reversed a century of law to open the floodgates for special interests - including foreign corporations - to spend without limit in our elections."

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Filed under: John Roberts • Popular Posts • President Obama • Supreme Court
January 1st, 2010
03:10 PM ET
5 years ago

Chief Justice Roberts has little to say at year's end

Chief Justice John Roberts on Thursday offered an unusually brief summary of the problems facing the U.S. court system.
Chief Justice John Roberts on Thursday offered an unusually brief summary of the problems facing the U.S. court system.

Washington (CNN) – A year ago, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts said he was "tired" of urging lawmakers to live up to their pledge to raise judges' salaries. No increase has come, but in his latest annual year-end report released Thursday, the head of the federal judiciary found little to talk about, offering an unusually brief summary of the problems facing the courts.

"Many of those needs remain to be addressed," said Roberts. "This year, however, when the political branches are faced with so many difficult issues, and when so many of our fellow citizens have been touched by hardship, the public might welcome a year-end report limited to what is essential: The courts are operating soundly."

Roberts and his predecessor, William Rehnquist, regularly used their Supreme Court position to urge action on salaries, the increasing workload of the courts, and increased security in the nation's courtrooms. Recent year-end reports have contained more pointed criticism of congressional inaction on the salary dispute, but Roberts' brief comments this year were especially muted. As chief justice, he has administrative oversight over the entire federal court system. He is also the highest paid federal judge.

Last year the 54-year-old chief justice wrote, "I must renew the judiciary's modest petition: Simply provide cost-of-living increases that have been unfairly denied. We have done our part - it is long past time for Congress to do its."

Those so-called COLAs were approved in May, but not an overall salary increase. House and Senate committees have approved a 30-percent pay hike, but Congress as a whole has not acted on the proposal. The last time judges received a substantial pay increase was 1991, but they have received periodic increases designed to keep pace with inflation.

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Filed under: John Roberts • Supreme Court
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