|Law Review Symposium Examines Role of Chief Justice
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BEFORE LAST SEPTEMBER, the average American had never heard of John Roberts. Now, several months later, he heads the judicial branch of our government.
Roberts’ quick ascension to power provoked much hand-wringing among liberals who fear the Supreme Court’s further shift to the right. But according to Professor Erwin Chemerinsky,
who gave the keynote address at the Law Review Symposium, Roberts is no more conservative than the man whose shoes he’s filling.
“It’s easy to see that John Roberts, of all people on the Supreme Court, is closest ideologically to William Rehnquist,” said Chemerinsky, a professor of law and political science
at Duke University. “In virtually every area, John Roberts is likely to vote the same way that William Rehnquist did.”
Chemerinsky’s comparison of chief justices past and present was part of a wide-ranging discussion at the conference last November. Scholars from around the country spoke on topics
including the history of the chief justice position, different strategies chief justices have used to control the court, and comparative analyses of other nations’ top judicial