The Chief Justice

Supreme Court of the United States
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Chief Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court

Description The Chief Justice brings together leading scholars of the courts who employ social science theory and research to explain the role of the Chief Justice of the U. In addition, the chief justice presides over the Judicial Conference of the United States, a policy-making body composed of lower-court federal judges. An apt symbol of the man who sh The Supreme Court by William H. Rehnquist sets a simple goal for himself: What Kind of Nation: A masterful biography of the legendary chief justice of the United States and chairman of the Warren Commission by an award-winning journalist, using Lincoln and Chief Justice Taney: Along with his general responsibilities as a member of the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice has several unique duties to fulfill.

Chief Justice of Canada

Article I, section 3 of the U. Constitution stipulates that the Chief Justice shall preside over impeachment trials of the President of the United States in the U. Two Chief Justices, Salmon P.

Chief Justice Roberts on Oral Argument

Chase and William Rehnquist , have presided over the trial in the Senate that follows an impeachment of the president — Chase in over the proceedings against President Andrew Johnson and Rehnquist in over the proceedings against President Bill Clinton. Both presidents were subsequently acquitted. Many of the procedures and inner workings of the Court turn on the seniority of the justices. Traditionally, the chief justice has been regarded as primus inter pares first among equals —that is, the chief justice is the highest-ranking and foremost member of the Court, regardless of that officeholder's length of service when compared against that of any associate justice.

This seniority and added prestige enables a chief justice to define the Court's culture and norms and, thus, influence how it functions. The chief justice sets the agenda for the weekly meetings where the justices review the petitions for certiorari , to decide whether to hear or deny each case. The Supreme Court agrees to hear less than one percent of the cases petitioned to it.


The chief justice is the presiding member of a supreme court in any of many countries with a justice system based on English common law, such as the Supreme. The Chief Justice of the United States is the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States and thus the head of the United States federal court system.

While associate justices may append items to the weekly agenda, in practice this initial agenda-setting power of the chief justice has significant influence over the direction of the court. Nonetheless, a chief justice's influence may be limited by circumstances and the associate justices' understanding of legal principles ; it is definitely limited by the fact that he has only a single vote of nine on the decision whether to grant or deny certiorari.

Despite the chief justice's elevated stature, his vote carries the same legal weight as the vote of each associate justice. Additionally, he has no legal authority to overrule the verdicts or interpretations of the other eight judges or tamper with them. Thus, when the chief justice is in the majority, he always assigns the opinion.

In doing so, Marshall would often write the opinions himself, and actively discouraged dissenting opinions. Associate Justice William Johnson eventually persuaded Marshall and the rest of the Court to adopt its present practice: The chief justice's formal prerogative—when in the majority—to assign which justice will write the Court's opinion is perhaps his most influential power, [6] as this enables him to influence the historical record. Additionally, the chief justice chairs the conferences where cases are discussed and tentatively voted on by the justices.

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He normally speaks first and so has influence in framing the discussion. Although the chief justice votes first—the Court votes in order of seniority—he may strategically pass in order to ensure membership in the majority if desired. Indeed, Burger is said to have often changed votes to join the majority coalition, cast "phony votes" by voting against his preferred position, and declined to express a position at conference.

The Chief Justice typically administers the oath of office at the inauguration of the President of the United States.

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This is a tradition, rather than a constitutional responsibility of the Chief Justice; the Constitution does not require that the oath be administered by anyone in particular, simply that it be taken by the president. Law empowers any federal and state judge, as well as notaries public such as John Calvin Coolidge, Sr. If the Chief Justice is ill or incapacitated, the oath is usually administered by the next senior member of the Supreme Court.

Seven times, someone other than the Chief Justice of the United States administered the oath of office to the President.

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William Cushing , an associate justice of the Supreme Court, administered Washington's second oath of office in Calvin Coolidge 's father , a notary public, administered the oath to his son after the death of Warren Harding. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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Arthur and Theodore Roosevelt 's initial oaths reflected the unexpected nature of their taking office. On November 22, , after the assassination of President John F.

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Kennedy, Judge Sarah T. Johnson aboard the presidential airplane. In addition, the Chief Justice ordinarily administers the oath of office to newly appointed and confirmed associate justices, whereas the senior associate justice will normally swear in a new Chief Justice or vice president. Since the tenure of William Howard Taft , the office of the Chief Justice has moved beyond just first among equals. Unlike Senators and Representatives who are constitutionally prohibited from holding any other "office of trust or profit" of the United States or of any state while holding their congressional seats, the Chief Justice and the other members of the federal judiciary are not barred from serving in other positions.

Jackson was appointed by President Truman to be the U. Under 28 USC , [16] when the Chief Justice is unable to discharge his functions, or that office is vacant, the duties are carried out by the most senior associate justice who is able to act, until the disability or vacancy ends, as chief justice.

Since the Supreme Court was established in , the following 17 persons have served as Chief Justice: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Constitution of the United States Law Taxation. Presidential elections Midterm elections Off-year elections. Democratic Republican Third parties.

Rutledge remains the only "recess appointed" justice not to be subsequently confirmed by the Senate. The nomination of a sitting associate justice to be chief justice is subject to a separate confirmation process.

Office of the Chief Justice, —present". Retrieved April 10, Retrieved August 7, Administrative Office of the U. Retrieved January 27, Presidential Prerogative or a Job for the Court?