Malaka Of The Week: Chief Justice John Roberts

I debated whether to make John and Jane Roberts co-malakas of the week. But he’s glory, she’s reflected glory. And that is why Chief Justice John Roberts is malaka of the week.

I used to think of the Chief Justice as misguided on the law but a decent person. His recent handling of ethics issues at SCOTUS has made me reassess that opinion.

Roberts raised a huge stink about the Dobbs leak. He promised a thorough inquiry. Instead, it was an internal investigation run by Court employees who don’t do investigative work. They did not require the Justices to swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. My prime suspect is Sam the Sham Alito. He’s leaked before. Why wouldn’t he do it again?

SCOTUS also failed to disclose its ties to former federal judge and Bush Homeland Insecurity Secretary Michael Chertoff. His company reviewed and approved the internal inquiry. Heckuva job, Chertoff. One could even say it was off the cherts…

Chief Justice Roberts has always held himself out as an institutionalist and paragon of legal virtue. There’s tarnish on his halo right now.

Then there’s the Chief’s handling of SCOTUS spouses. He’s been mum on Ginni Thomas and Clarence’s recusal refusal in the Trump executive privilege case. SCOTUS has said bupkis about her involvement in the BIG LIE and the coup plot.

It’s time to reveal why I considered making John and Jane Roberts co-malakas of the week. Politico broke a story this week about dubious business activities by Jane Roberts.

Jane Roberts, the wife of Chief Justice John Roberts, acknowledges having represented a wide variety of public officials — including senior Justice Department officials and Cabinet members — as they transitioned to jobs in the private sector, according to testimony in an arbitration hearing to resolve a lawsuit filed by an ex-colleague against her former legal recruiting business.


A partial transcript of that testimony was included in a complaint submitted to the House, Senate and Justice Department filed in December on behalf of the former colleague.

The complaint, a copy of which was obtained by POLITICO, accuses the chief justice of failing to acknowledge the full extent of his wife’s work in his ethical disclosures, presenting her as a salaried employee of her firm rather than one who receives commissions from law firms, some of which have cases before the Supreme Court.

So, she’s a headhunter. Does Herbie Hancock know?

This song title sums up the Supreme Court’s efforts to hide in plain sight when it comes to ethics:

As far as I can tell, Jane Roberts hasn’t done anything illegal. Disclosure is the issue. She should be more transparent in regard to any dealings with SCOTUS. And her husband should know better. Jane Roberts is also a well-known anti-choice zealot. At least she didn’t trade coup texts with Mark Meadows like Ginni Thomas.

It gives me no pleasure to bestow the malakatude crown of thorns on the Chief Justice. I’m a Supreme Court history buff, so it pains me to see the Court’s reputation in tatters. Slate legal eagle Dahlia Lithwick reminded us that past Chiefs have not only talked the ethical talk they walked the walk. For example, Earl Warren who Hugo Black, not an easy man to please, called the Super Chief. He always tried to do the right thing. John Roberts just talks about doing it. And that is why Chief Justice John Roberts is malaka of the week.

The last word goes to Jefferson Starship and Lou Reed with songs with Jane in the title:




One thought on “Malaka Of The Week: Chief Justice John Roberts

  1. Just helping public officials transitioning to the private sector – sound innocent enough, right? It’s really seeding top-shelf law firms and big corporations with them. That’s how the public-private swinging door works.

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