Appellate Advocacy Blog

Editor: Tessa L. Dysart
The University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law

Monday, June 18, 2018

In Honor of Father's Day

Last month, in honor of Mother's Day, I posted about Trailblazing Appellate Moms--highlighting the careers of Justices Ginsburg and O'Connor.  Unfortunately, I couldn't think of a similarly snappy post in honor of Father's Day. (Side note--Father's Day is the correct punctuation.)  As I thought about appellate lawyer dads, the picture that kept coming into my mind was that of Jack Roberts "dancing" during President Bush's televised announcement that he was nominating Jack's father--John Roberts--to the United States Supreme Court.  In case you haven't seen the video, you can see it here.

Chief Justice Roberts later shared more about the event in an interview with Jan Crawford Greenburg:


And jus[t] before the announcement, someone told Jane, "All right, go after the kids and stand there right next to the lectern." And Jane immediately said, "Well, that's not a very good idea," but it was boom, boom, boom and they were standing there. People think Jack was dancing. He was not dancing. He was being Spiderman. He was shooting the webs off…

CRAWFORD GREENBURG: But did he think the cameras were there for him? Was he performing?

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: Yes, you know, there were spotlights and he figured, 'I might as well take advantage of it.' And I remember thinking—well, what I was thinking was what any father and husband would think, which is why isn't Jane doing anything. And later on, on the ride home, she explained, and I think quite correctly, that if she had tried to do anything, there was no telling what Jack would have done and it would have escalated a little bit.

But the cameras were at the president's shoulders and above, so we got through it all right.

CRAWFORD GREENBURG: Could you hear the president or was it distracting?

CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS: No. I kind of pretended it wasn't happening and just tried to listen to what was going on.

Perhaps I should have included Jane Roberts, an accomplished attorney, in my May post for keeping her cool during the whole ordeal.  Anyway, to all the appellate dads who work the long hours but still try to make soccer, baseball, gymnastics, and ballet recitals, we salute you!

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