Notre Dame Law School to host Chief Justice John Roberts

By: Dennis Brown

John G. Roberts Jr., chief justice of the United States, will hold a one-day appointment to the James J. Clynes Visiting Chair in the Notre Dame Law School on Friday (Sept. 12).

The chief justice will meet and speak during the day with Law School students and faculty and invited undergraduate students in a series of invitational events that are not open to the public.

Roberts took his seat as chief justice Sept. 29, 2005. He had served for the previous two years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

A graduate of Harvard University and Harvard Law School, Roberts served as a law clerk for Judge Henry J. Friendly of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1979 to 1980 and as a law clerk for then-Associate Justice William H. Rehnquist of the Supreme Court during the 1980 term.

Roberts was special assistant to the U.S. attorney general from 1981 to 1982, associate counsel for President Reagan in the White House Counsel’s office from 1982 to 1986, and principal deputy solicitor general in the U.S. Department of Justice from 1989 to 1993. From 1986 to 1989 and 1993 to 2003, he practiced law in Washington, D.C.

The Clynes Chair was established with a gift from Judge James J. Clynes Jr., who was graduated from Notre Dame in 1945 with his bachelor’s degree in economics and from Cornell University with his law degree in 1948. He was a partner in the Ithaca, N.Y., firm Harris, Beach & Wilcox, a city attorney and prosecutor, and the Ithaca city judge from 1969 to 1989.

Previous holders of the Clynes Chair include Judge John T. Noonan Jr. from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Supreme Court Chief Justice Rehnquist and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia (twice).