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Serving Process on the Chief Justice at His Home:
The BLT has the scoop.
neurodoc:
Roberts, as might be expected, does have a security detail. I'm surprised they didn't intercept the process server.
1.12.2009 10:59pm
Syd Henderson:
"So help me God" isn't part of the Presidential Oath of Office, although every President says it. As long as Roberts doesn't say it when administering the oath, there's no constitutional problem.
1.12.2009 11:15pm
Syd Henderson:
I should have read the article. Obama requested Roberts say the words. They're still not part of the oath.
1.12.2009 11:16pm
Hoosier:
That's right: Washington said those words after taking the prescribed oath. It became tradition to follow him in this.

If the president wants to say the words, it's hard for me to understand how Newdow, or SCOTUS, could prevent him from doing so. Can they also keep him from going to church on Sunday? After all, he would be driving in a government-supplied automobile.
1.12.2009 11:29pm
ll (mail):
You sure you should be giving Newdow ideas?
1.12.2009 11:46pm
Hoosier:
II

Did I just feed a troll? Sorry!

OK, Newdow. Back under your bridge.
1.12.2009 11:48pm
J. Aldridge:
The sad thing is the blundering SCOTUS created the basis for Newdow's arguments.
1.13.2009 12:24am
Tritium (mail):
People tend to overreact to anything related to God. If an oath is being administered, it is important to use the name of whatever God they are bound by.

I never understood how he Got "Chief" Justice, since he does not have seniority, and "Chief" usually refers to the Justice all others followed. (in obtaining a seat on the Supreme Court.) It would likely be a conflict of interest in any impeachments of the President responsible for appointing him. Logic, it works in mysterious ways.
1.13.2009 12:49am
Chico's Bail Bonds (mail):
Tritium,

Your second paragraph is literally incomprehensible.
1.13.2009 2:05am
Dave N (mail):
Tritium:

Trolling long? The position of Chief Justice of the United States is created by 28 U.S.C. 1. Vacancies in the office of Chief Justice are covered by 28 U.S.C. 3. And if the Chief Justice is unable to act, the next most senior Justice acts in his place.

I am not sure why a Chief Justice would have a conflict in presiding over an impeachment of the President who appointed him. Warren Burger reportedly had no such qualms.

Of course, in the two actual Presidential impeachments, Chief Justice Salmon Chase (appointed by Abraham Lincoln) presided over Andrew Johnson's imeachment trial and Chief William Rehnquist presided over Bill Clinton's impeachment trial.
1.13.2009 2:11am
Tritium (mail):
Perhaps I misunderstood the circumstances, it was my understanding that when Roberts was appointed to the Supreme Court, he assumed the title of Chief Justice.

Hardly proper for a new Supreme Court Justice to become Chief Justice of the highest Court over the experienced Justices. A leader should earn his rank, not have it granted to him like Nobility.
1.13.2009 2:42am
OrinKerr:
Tritium,

Roberts didn't "assume" the title. He was nominated for it by the President and confirmed for it by the Senate.
1.13.2009 3:14am
Mister Big Top:
Yikes. I would've thought his security detail would've taken care of this. I'm a little nervous about him just opening up his door.
1.13.2009 5:31am
Chris Bell (mail) (www):
Hoosier:


That's right: Washington said those words after taking the prescribed oath. It became tradition to follow him in this.

This is, surprisingly, an American legend. Historians are not sure when the practice developed, although (again surprisingly) it might have been Lincoln.

Of course, every President since FDR has definitely said it.
1.13.2009 8:02am
Snaphappy:

Daniel Portnoy says he walked up the driveway and knocked on the front door. The homeowner opened the door.

Portnoy and the man chatted for a minute and parted ways. Mission accomplished. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. accepted service of a U.S. District Court summons at home, Portnoy says.

***

"Definitely a gentleman," Portnoy says.


Sounds like there was no complaint from Portnoy.
1.13.2009 9:27am
TerrencePhilip:
What an embarrassment to the legal system. Hopefully this will end with Newdow being barred from filing suit in federal court without prior screening by a judge.
1.13.2009 9:39am
undrwlmd (mail):
OUCH snaphappy.
1.13.2009 9:45am
Terrivus:
Yikes. I would've thought his security detail would've taken care of this. I'm a little nervous about him just opening up his door.

Seriously... I know CJ Roberts isn't into the trappings of the positions, etc., but isn't it just a little worrisome that somebody can go right up to his front door and he comes out?

I wonder if the story was condensed a little... maybe the guy did actually have to talk to/get past the security detail first. Though the story suggests he went straight up to the door, which is concerning.
1.13.2009 9:51am
TerrencePhilip:
A while back someone posted a link to the case where a lawyer ran right out of his shoes to avoid a process server.
1.13.2009 10:01am
Oren:

Roberts didn't "assume" the title. He was nominated for it by the President and confirmed for it by the Senate.

I assumed Tritium was trolling Congress' decision to permit such a thing. They could change the process so that only sitting Justices can be elevated to CJ.
1.13.2009 10:42am
Steve H:
I think it was bad form to serve the guy at home. If you know where he works, and it's not going to embarrass him, serve him at the office.
1.13.2009 11:03am
Observer:
It is a bit alarming that it would be so easy for anyone to approach the Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. What if, rather than being visited by a harmless atheist hack, the Chief had been approached by a deranged individual intent on harming him?
1.13.2009 11:07am
Guest14:
Perhaps I misunderstood the circumstances, it was my understanding that when Roberts was appointed to the Supreme Court, he assumed the title of Chief Justice.


Of 17 Chief Justices, apparently 13 first joined the Supreme Court as Chief Justice:

John Jay
Oliver Ellsworth
John Marshall
Roger B. Taney
Salmon P. Chase
Morrison Waite
Melville Fuller
William H. Taft
Charles E. Hughes
Frederick M. Vinson
Earl Warren
Warren E. Burger
John Roberts
1.13.2009 11:11am
undrwlmd (mail):
Nominating a sitting SCOTUS justice to be chief justice would require a whole other round of confirmation hearings. Imagine Congress' delight to hear Scalia or Thomas?
1.13.2009 12:11pm
dll111:
Guest 14:

Charles Evans Hughes was an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court before he was appointed CJ. He left the Court in 1916 to run for President. He lost by a slim margin to Wilson. Hoover appointed him Chief Justice some years later.

And, of course, Roberts was first nominated as an Associate Justice to replace O'Connor, but was then renominated for CJ when Rehnquist died before Roberts was confirmed as an Associate Justice.

Also, Dave N, doesn't the Impeachment Clause of Art. I, Sec. 3, Cl. 6 of the Constitution create the office of Chief Justice?
1.13.2009 12:21pm
Michael B (mail):
The critical question is, how many weeks/episodes before something like this shows up on a new episode of Law and Order?
1.13.2009 1:46pm
SDonelan:
Why did Mr. Roberts need to be served at 8pm at his residence instead of some other place, such as his office, because he was sued in his personal capacity? Could he not be served in his personal capacity during work hours at his office?
1.13.2009 2:01pm
abb3w:
Given the narrow nature of the suit (only against the prompting by the CJOTUS), it's not completely insane to be insisting that the Chief Justice (even in a nominally private capacity) provide the prompt verbatim as specified in the Constitution.

It's still a silly lawsuit, however.
1.13.2009 6:18pm

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