In Year-End Report, Chief Justice Focuses on Judicial Security

John Roberts wrote about events in 1957 but didn't mention present-day controversies
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 2, 2023 5:12 PM CST
In Year-End Report, Chief Justice Doesn't Mention Controversies
In this May 17, 1954 photo, George E.C. Hayes, left, Thurgood Marshall, center, and James M. Nabrit join hands outside the Supreme Court after justices declared in the Brown v. Board of Education decision that separate but equal schools for Black children were unconstitutional.   (AP Photo/File)

In his annual report on the federal judiciary, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts' main focus was events in 1957, not any of the controversies in a tumultuous year for the nation's top court. Roberts' year-end report looked at the events surrounding US District Judge Ronald N. Davies' efforts to enforce school desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas three years after the top court's landmark Brown v. Board of Education ruling the Washington Post reports. "A judicial system cannot and should not live in fear," Roberts wrote. "The events of Little Rock teach about the importance of rule by law instead of by mob."

Roberts wrote about judicial security, thanking US Marshals and other court security officers, CNN reports. "The law requires every judge to swear an oath to perform his or her work without fear or favor, but we must support judges by ensuring their safety," he wrote. He did not, however, address other concerns, including the May leak of the draft opinion in the case that overturned Roe v. Wade. After the leak, Roberts said there would be a full investigation of what he called an "egregious" breach of trust "that is an affront to the court and the community of public servants who work here, but he hasn't delivered any updates on the probe. In June, an armed man was arrested near the home of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. After the decision, there were protests outside the homes of conservative justices.

Roberts also made no mention of controversies including calls for Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself from election-related litigation after it emerged that his wife, Ginni Thomas, had urged state lawmakers to help overturn Donald Trump's 2020 election loss. In his message, Roberts praised the passage of the Daniel Anderl Judicial Security and Privacy Act, named after the murdered son of New Jersey District Judge Esther Salas. The 20-year-old was killed by a man who showed up at Salas' home, posing as a delivery driver. The act allows judges to keep personal information like home addresses off the internet, the Post reports. (More US Supreme Court stories.)

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