Harvard Law grad John Roberts nominated to fill Supreme Court vacancy

Post Date: July 19, 2005 — 9 p.m.

President Bush has nominated Harvard Law graduate John G. Roberts Jr., a federal appeals court judge, to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created earlier this month when Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor announced her retirement. Roberts graduated from Harvard Law School in 1979 and from Harvard College in 1976. While in law school, he was a managing editor of the Harvard Law Review.

If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Roberts will be the sixth justice on the current court to attend Harvard Law School. The other alumni justices are Anthony Kennedy ’61, Antonin Scalia ’60, David Souter ’66, Stephen Breyer ’64, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who attended HLS from 1956 to 1958 and ultimately received her degree from Columbia Law School. (Chief Justice William Rehnquist earned a master’s degree from Harvard’s Faculty of Arts & Sciences in 1950.) Throughout history, numerous Harvard Law School graduates and faculty members have served on the high court, including Joseph Story, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, William Brennan, Harry Blackmun and others.

“John Roberts has devoted his entire professional life to the cause of justice,” said Bush during the announcement ceremony at the White House, “and is widely admired for his intellect his sound judgment and his personal decency.”

Roberts called it “both an honor and very humbling to be nominated to serve on the Supreme Court.” He added that when he argued cases before the court in the past he “always got a lump in my throat whenever I walked up those marble steps.”

In 2003, Bush appointed Roberts to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. Roberts previously served as the principal deputy solicitor general in the administration of President George H.W. Bush and as a lawyer in the Reagan White House. He has also worked in private practice.

Related links:

Official transcript of ceremony announcing the appointment of John Roberts

Harvard Law School alumni who have served on the Supreme Court