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Tags: supreme court | ethics inquiry | john roberts | jane sullivan roberts | doj

Chief Justice Roberts' Wife Faces Potential Ethics Inquiry

jane sullivan roberts looks on
Jane Sullivan Roberts, wife of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 February 2023 08:02 AM EST

Jane Sullivan Roberts, the wife of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, could undergo a Justice Department ethics inquiry over claims by a former colleague.

In a letter obtained by The New York Times, attorney Kendal Price argued that Jane Sullivan Roberts used her position as a legal recruiter to make millions of dollars by placing lawyers at firms that have done business with the high court.

Price, 66, did not provide any specific rulings where Jane Sullivan Roberts' placements could have factored into the final result. However, the Boston native said he was worried a financial relationship between justices and law firms could affect partiality.

In addition, the lawyer urged the Justice Department to pay attention to the Supreme Court justice spouses' careers and for future public disclosure of information surrounding it.

"I do believe that litigants in U.S. courts, and especially the Supreme Court, deserve to know if their judges' households are receiving six-figure payments from the law firms," Price wrote.

Jane Sullivan Roberts, formerly a law firm partner herself, had previously shared in an interview with Lawdragon that John Roberts' job heading the Supreme Court led her to leave the profession and become a high-end recruiter.

"It was awkward to be practicing law in the firm – not unethical, not prohibited, but still awkward – after my husband was appointed Chief Justice," she said, adding that "at brunch with friends on New Year's Day in 2007, one suggested I become a recruiter."

Patricia McCabe, a Supreme Court spokeswoman, told The Times that all justices were "attentive to ethical constraints" and that Chief Justice John Roberts and his wife were well-versed in the federal judge code of conduct.

Price and Jane Sullivan Roberts previously worked as legal recruiters for the global recruiting firm Major, Lindsey & Africa. In 2013, Price was dismissed and filed a failed lawsuit against the firm, Roberts, and another executive.

Jane Sullivan Roberts is now a partner at Macrae, formerly known as Mlegal.

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Jane Sullivan Roberts, the wife of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, could undergo a Justice Department ethics inquiry over claims by a former colleague.
supreme court, ethics inquiry, john roberts, jane sullivan roberts, doj
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2023-02-01
Wednesday, 01 February 2023 08:02 AM
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