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Chief Justice Roberts Speaks At University of Kentucky


Just a day after President Donald Trump’s announcement of a nominee for the Supreme Court, Chief Justice John Roberts visited Lexington. 

Justice John Roberts, America’s 17th chief justice, sat down at the University of Kentucky for a talk with John Duff, Director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts.

Roberts, asked about building congeniality on the high court, noted there are times he might meet with fellow justices individually, and even make edit suggestions before the release of a ruling.

“You sort of represent the court in talking to one of your colleagues in saying - 'we understand you think this is important and you understand that you think it’s wrong, but this particular adjective is not the one to use'.”

With the current vacancy on the court, the chief justice said during his Wednesday visit to the U.K. College of Law, that of the eight remaining members have made an effort to work more closely to find common ground.

Roberts has served on the High Court since 2005 and previously clerked for former Chief Justice William Rehnquist.  He said  the court now hears fewer cases.

“We will decide about 75 cases this year.  When I was a law clerk in 1980, the Court decided 150.  So we’re at half the number and that changes things.  You have a little more time to deal with the cases.”

During his conversation with Duff made no mention of the President or his nominee but he did speak of the number of lawyers across the U.S.  He said too many end up in their second or third pick in the legal profession.

“If you wanted to be a trial lawyer because you like legal dramas or whatever and you think that’s something I want to do.  Well, don’t go be a tax lawyer when you get out of law school.  You’re going to find you’re a lawyer, but it’s not what you want to do, ” he said. 

Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 30 years.
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