Category: U.S. Chief Justice

The Chief Justice is the head of the U.S. Supreme Court and serves as the presiding officer during its sessions. They also hold administrative authority over the federal judiciary and represent the U.S. judiciary in its relations with the other branches of government.

How is the Chief Justice chosen?

Like other Supreme Court justices, the Chief Justice is nominated by the President and must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

How long does the Chief Justice serve?

The Chief Justice, like all Supreme Court justices, serves a lifetime appointment unless they choose to resign, retire, or are impeached.

Who was the first Chief Justice?

The first Chief Justice was John Jay, who served from 1789 to 1795.

Has every Chief Justice previously served as an Associate Justice?

No, not every Chief Justice has previously served as an Associate Justice on the Supreme Court.

Who was the longest-serving Chief Justice?

The longest-serving Chief Justice was John Marshall, who served from 1801 to 1835.

What is the Chief Justice’s role in a presidential impeachment trial?

The U.S. Constitution mandates that the Chief Justice presides over a Senate impeachment trial when the President is being tried.

Does the Chief Justice have more voting power than the other justices?

No, the Chief Justice has only one vote, just like every other justice on the Court.

Who appoints the Chief Justice if the position becomes vacant?

The President nominates an individual, either an existing justice or an outside candidate, to become the Chief Justice. The nominee must then be confirmed by the Senate.

Who was the first Chief Justice to administer the presidential oath of office?

Chief Justice John Jay was the first to administer the oath, doing so for George Washington’s first inauguration in 1789.

Has a Chief Justice ever been impeached?

Only one Chief Justice, John Rutledge (who was serving as a recess appointment), faced an unsuccessful attempt at impeachment, mainly due to his vocal opposition to the Jay Treaty.

How does the Chief Justice influence the direction of the Supreme Court?

While the Chief Justice has the same single vote as other justices, their influence can be exerted through the assignment of opinion writing (if they are in the majority) and through their administrative and representational roles.

Who is the current Chief Justice?

As of 2023, the Chief Justice is John G. Roberts Jr.

How many Chief Justices have there been in U.S. history?

As of 2023, there have been 17 Chief Justices.

Have there been any female Chief Justices?

No, as of 2023, there has not yet been a female Chief Justice.