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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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