The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts

The Chief: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts

by Joan Biskupic


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An incisive biography of the Supreme Court's enigmatic Chief Justice, taking us inside the momentous legal decisions of his tenure so far

John Roberts was named to the Supreme Court in 2005 claiming he would act as a neutral umpire in deciding cases. His critics argue he has been anything but, pointing to his conservative victories on voting rights and campaign finance. Yet he broke from orthodoxy in his decision to preserve Obamacare. How are we to understand the motives of the most powerful judge in the land?

In The Chief, award-winning journalist Joan Biskupic contends that Roberts is torn between two, often divergent, priorities: to carry out a conservative agenda, and to protect the Court's image and his place in history. Biskupic shows how Roberts's dual commitments have fostered distrust among his colleagues, with major consequences for the law. Trenchant and authoritative, The Chief reveals the making of a justice and the drama on this nation's highest court.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780465093274
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 03/26/2019
Pages: 432
Sales rank: 104,445
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.60(d)

About the Author

Joan Biskupic is a legal analyst at CNN. Previously, she served as an editor-in-charge for legal affairs at Reuters and as the Supreme Court correspondent for The Washington Post. A Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of books on Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, and Sonia Sotomayor, Biskupic lives in Washington, DC.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Chapter I From Lancashire to Wonder Street 13

Chapter II The Education Of John Roberts 33

Chapter III Hearing the Call 63

Chapter IV "May It Please the Court" 89

Chapter V The Standout 117

Chapter VI The Right Place 141

Chapter VII Blacks, Whites, and Brown 171

Chapter VIII Politics and Money 193

Chapter IX A Switch in Time 221

Chapter X Divided by Race 249

Chapter XI A Fractured Court 275

Chapter XII An Open Seat 303

Chapter XIII The Roberts Court in the Trump Era 325

Epilogue 345

Acknowledgments 351

Selected Bibliography 355

Notes 359

Index 405

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