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.FULL STORY
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.FULL STORY
(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."
(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.
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.
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.FULL STORY
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.
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.
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."
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.