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Supreme Court Faces Credibility Crisis After Chief Justice’s Wife Found To Be Paid By Law Firms

  • June 11, 2023

Many Americans believe the country’s political leaders — especially leaders of the opposite party — have dangerously extremist views, are pushing the country in the wrong direction, and in some cases are corrupt. Moreover, divisions in the country seem to have dramatically widened over the last decade and show no signs of lessening.

Skepticism about U.S. leaders has even filtered down to perhaps the most respected of all U.S. institutions, the country’s Supreme Court. Increasingly, a make-or-break characteristic of a Supreme Court appointee seems to be his or her political views, prompting many to question the impartiality of justices with lifetime appointments to the nation’s highest judicial body.

Such concerns will doubtless be magnified by the April 28 media reports that Jane Roberts, the wife of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, was paid US$10.3 million by corporations and law firms for her services as a legal recruiter who placed high-priced attorneys at those entities over the eight-year period of 2007-2014. 

At least one of the law firms (which paid her hundreds of thousands of dollars for her services) argued a case before the Chief Justice Roberts-led Supreme Court, and other law firms which paid Ms. Roberts could be seeking to do so as well. Justice Roberts has been Chief Justice of the Supreme Court since 2005.

Ms. Roberts continues to work as a legal recruiter or headhunter. Judge Roberts’ most recently filed financial disclosure makes no mention of the amount of money his wife makes, nor which firms

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Jane Roberts, who is married to Chief Justice John Roberts, made $10.3 million in commissions from elite law firms, whistleblower documents show

  • May 29, 2023
John and Jane Roberts arriving for a state dinner

Jane Sullivan Roberts, the spouse of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts made more than $10 million in commissions as a headhunter for top-tier law firms between 2007 and 2014, according to internal documents included with a whistleblower complaint.Alex Brandon/AP

  • Jane Roberts was paid more than $10 million by a host of elite law firms, a whistleblower alleges.

  • At least one of those firms argued a case before Chief Justice Roberts after paying his wife hundreds of thousands of dollars.

  • Details of Jane Roberts’ work come as Congress struggles to reform the Court’s self-policed ethics.

Two years after John Roberts’ confirmation as the Supreme Court’s chief justice in 2005, his wife, Jane Sullivan Roberts, made a pivot. After a long and distinguished career as a lawyer, she refashioned herself as a legal recruiter, a matchmaker who pairs job-hunting lawyers up with corporations and firms.

Roberts told a friend that the change was motivated by a desire to avoid the appearance of conflicts of interest, given that her husband was now the highest-ranking judge in the country. “There are many paths to the good life,” she said. “There are so many things to do if you’re open to change and opportunity.”

And life was indeed good for the Robertses, at least for the years 2007 to 2014. During that eight-year stretch, according to internal records from her employer, Jane Roberts generated a whopping $10.3 million in commissions, paid out by corporations and law firms for placing high-dollar lawyers with them.

That eye-popping figure comes from records in a whistleblower complaint filed by a disgruntled former colleague of Roberts, who says that as the spouse of the most powerful judge in the United States, the income she earns from law firms who practice before the Court should be subject to public

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John Roberts’ wife made millions from elite law firms, major companies: Whistleblower docs

  • May 8, 2023

A whistleblower from the legal recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa says Jane Sullivan Roberts, the wife of U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, was paid $10.3 million in commissions over seven years from her job as a headhunter at the company, where she placed attorneys with law firms—including at least one that argued a case before the Supreme Court after the placement was made.

Sullivan Roberts was paid the money between 2007 and 2014, having taken a job with the company two years after her husband was confirmed to the Supreme Court, according to a report out Friday from Business Insider.

The whistleblower, Kendal Price, said in a sworn affidavit in December that he believed “at least some of [Roberts’] remarkable success as a recruiter has come because of her spouse’s position.”

Price’s complaint was reported on earlier this year by Politico and The New York Times, and Insider published new documents regarding the case.

“When I found out that the spouse of the chief justice was soliciting business from law firms, I knew immediately that it was wrong,” Price, who worked alongside Sullivan Roberts from 2011-2013 at Major, Lindsey & Africa, told Business Insider. “During the time I was there, I was discouraged from ever raising the issue. And I realized that even the law firms who were Jane’s clients had nowhere to go. They were being asked by the spouse of the chief justice for business worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and there was no one to complain to. Most of these firms were likely appearing or seeking to appear before the Supreme Court. It’s natural that they’d do anything they felt was necessary to be competitive.”

Insider noted that a spokesperson for the Supreme Court told The New York Times in a

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How a conservative bloc, unrestrained by public opinion, is leading the US Supreme Court

  • July 28, 2022

In front of the steps of the US Supreme Court — nearly a week after the landmark overturning of Roe v. Wade — the president of the National Organization of Women handed out pro-choice placards and pledged to keep fighting for abortion rights.

Christian Nunes also had some strong words about the top court, calling it “compromised” and out of step with public opinion.

“They’re not ruling in favor of the people. They’re ruling in their own moral viewpoints,” Nunes said.

That the recent decisions by the conservative majority court may not be in tune with average Americans is backed up by recent polls and surveys. But those rulings also signal a newly unapologetic and muscular court, willing to buck the national mood.

“They’re using their conservatism in a powerful way and they’re acting like they’re in a hurrysaid Stephen Wermiel, a constitutional law professor at American University Washington College of Law.

“For a long time, we’ve been looking at a conservative tugboat. And now we’re looking at a conservative runaway freight train.”

A CBS News/YouGov poll found 59 per cent of Americans disapproved of the court’s recent overturn of Roe v. Wade, compared to 41 per cent who approved. (Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press)

That freight train has pushed through some strongly conservative-minded decisions over the past weeks. Along with overturning Roe v. Wade, the 6-3 conservative majority effectively expanded gun rights in New York state and ruled that a high school football coach had a constitutional right to pray on the field.

On Thursday, in a blow to the fight against climate change, the court also ruled 6-3 that the Clean Air Act does not give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) broad authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

“I would say that [the conservative

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