What is John Roberts’ Net Worth and Salary?
John Roberts is an American lawyer who has a net worth of $17 million. As of this writing, that makes John Roberts the richest justice on the Supreme Court. John Roberts became the 17th chief justice of the United States Supreme Court in 2005 after being nominated to the bench by President George W. Bush.
Roberts was born on January 27, 1955 in Buffalo, New York to parents Rosemary and John Roberts Sr. He has three sisters – Kathy, Peggy, and Barbara. Roberts spent much of his early childhood in Hamburg, New York because his father worked as an electrical engineer there. At the age of ten, Roberts moved with his family to Long Beach, Indiana where his father became the manager of a steel plant. Roberts attended La Lumiere School and became captain of the football team and also became a regional champion in wrestling. He also participated in choir and drama and was and editor for the school newspaper. He graduated at the top of his high school class in 1973.
Roberts then began studying history at Harvard University. While a student there, a number of his papers won prizes for outstanding scholarship. During the summers in between school years, he returned home to work in his father’s steel plan. He graduated from Harvard in 1976 and decided to remain at Harvard to attend law school. He became the managing editor of the Harvard Law Review and graduated in 1979 with high honors.
As Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts earns a salary of $277 thousand per year. That’s roughly $10,000 more than his fellow justices.
After completing his legal education, Roberts clerked for judge Henry Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. He then clerked for U.S. Supreme Court justice William Rehnquist. Following his two clerkships, Roberts worked for the U.S. government in the administration of President Ronald Reagan. He first worked as special assistant to U.S. Attorney General William French Smith from 1981 to 1982 and then as an associate with the White House Counsel from 1982 to 1986.
After working in the public sphere, Roberts entered private practice in Washington, D.C. as an associate at the law firm Hogan & Hartson. He primarily worked in the field of corporate law. After a few years there, he joined the administration of president George H. W. Bush as Principal Deputy Solicitor General in 1989. In 1992, President Bush nominated Roberts to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, though no Senate vote was held and his nomination expired.
After Bush was defeated by Bill Clinton in the 1992 presidential election, Roberts returned to Hogan & Hartson as a partner. He led the firm’s appellate practice and also began teaching as an adjunct professor at the Georgetown University Law Center. He argued 39 cases before the Supreme Court during this time and prevailed in 25 of them.
In May of 2001, President George W. Bush nominated Roberts to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. However, he again had to wait until the Republicans took back control of the Senate in 2003. Roberts was again nominated and confirmed to the court in May of 2003.
Roberts remained on the court until 2005, when President Bush nominated him to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court left after justice Sandra Day O’Connor retired. However, Chief Justice Rehnquist died while Roberts’ confirmation was pending. President Bush then withdrew his nomination and resubmitted Roberts’ name for chief justice. Roberts was confirmed by what was, at the time, the narrowest margin in the Senate.
Roberts took the judicial oath in September of 2005. Since his time on the Court, Roberts has been described as an advocate for conservative principles and traditional legal methods. He has also been described as being more moderate than many of the traditionally conservative justices of the past. He has shown a willingness to work with the Court’s liberal bloc and has been considered a swing vote from time to time, depending on the composition of the court. He has also been outspoken about the justices’ not remaining loyal to the political party responsible for their original nomination.
During his time on the Supreme Court, Roberts has authored a number of landmark decisions including Riley v. California, Shelby County v. Holder, and National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius. The latter decision upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act by a vote of 5-4, though it also overturned portions of the law.
Roberts has also indicated at times that he supports some restrictions on access to abortion. He also struck down voting rights protections provided by the Voting Rights Act. As Chief Justice, he presided over the first impeachment trial of Donald Trump in early 2020. However, he declined to preside over the second impeachment trial as Trump’s term as president had already expired.
Roberts has been married to his wife, Jane Sullivan, since July 27, 1996. Sullivan is also a lawyer. The couple have two adopted children – John and Josephine. Roberts is one of 15 Catholic judges who have served as justices on the Supreme Court.
Roberts suffered a mysterious seizure in 2007 while at his vacation home in Maine. Physicians found no identifiable cause and an official statement from the Supreme Court said there was no cause for concern.