Chief Justice Roberts' visit draws 500

· 2 min read

Chief Justice Roberts' visit draws 500

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts (right) answers a question from William Jay Riley, Chief Judge of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, during the Sept. 19 discussion at the University of Nebraska's College of Law.
Craig Chandler | University Communications
U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts (right) answers a question from William Jay Riley, Chief Judge of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, during the Sept. 19 discussion at the University of Nebraska's College of Law.

U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts’ appearance at the University of Nebraska College of Law on Sept. 19 drew 500 people including many reporters and VIPS.

In the conversational-style appearance, Roberts sat in a chair on stage right while he answered prepared questions from William Jay Riley, Chief Judge of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Several of the questions had been submitted by students at Oakland-Craig and Wahoo schools, who watched the talk via web streaming.

The event was covered by reporters from ABC News, the Associated Press, and several Nebraska newspapers and broadcasters.

Some of the highlights, according to the Associated Press and Tweets posted during the talk:

  • Roberts is worried about partisanship in the judicial confirmation process and the public perception that the court is a political body, the AP reported. http://go.unl.edu/ksim

  • He lamented that the “eminently qualified” Justice Elena Kagan was confirmed on an almost strict partisan vote, Joe Duggan of the Omaha World-Herald reported. http://go.unl.edu/jerj

  • Jeff Zeleny, ABC News Senior Washington Correspondent, wrote about Roberts’ comments that neither Justice Antonin Scalia nor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg could survive confirmation if they went before the Senate today. “Neither one of them would have a chance today. That’s not good.”

  • Brent Martin of Nebraska Radio Network focused on similar comments from the chief justice.

  • A number of area broadcast media filed reports, including WOWT, KOLN/KGIN and KETV.

Other highlights recounted on Twitter from various media sources:

Asked how his undergraduate degree in history influences his work, Roberts quipped “I went to law school because I couldn’t get a job in history.”

His aim is to be fair when he assigns opinions to other justices. Each gets a share of important cases and “dogs,” he said.

When asked what he does for fun, Roberts said “I have two teenaged kids. I go to soccer games, hockey games and school plays.”

Question: “Is being chief justice everything you imagined?” Answer: “More.”

The Sept. 19 visit by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts drew about 500 to the College of Law.