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Chief Justice John Roberts meets with law students during Drake visit

October 2, 2008
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Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. talks to students about his law school experience.

MEDIA CONTACT: Tory Olson, 515-271-1834, tory.olson@drake.edu

Nearly 70 Drake Law School student leaders representing 27 student organizations met with Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts Jr. this morning for an informal breakfast.

"This is really an amazing opportunity for students," said Amos Hill, president of Drake's Student Bar Association. "It is great to be able to hear some of his personal stories and how he can relate to what we are going through."

Roberts told students about his role as managing editor of Harvard Law School's Law Review --  a position that Drake law students are familiar with on the Drake Law Review. He said, "I assigned all the work and made sure it got done, so I was very unpopular."

Also while in law school, Roberts worked summers at a steel mill outside of Gary, Ind., following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, to pay for his schooling. He was a class six electrician job helper and a member of the United Steel Workers of the America. He told students about getting shocked when asked to tighten bolts because he didn't know what wires were live.


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Students laugh as Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. jokes about his wife always being a Yankees fan.

Growing up in Indiana, Roberts said he feels comfortable in the Midwest
and has always been a Chicago Cubs fan, although he's encouraging his
children to cheer for the Nationals, their home team in Washington,
D.C. He added that his wife, a native of the Bronx, maintains she'll always
be a Yankees fan.

One student asked him what he planned to watch on TV tonight -- the
baseball game or the vice presidential debate. He joked about which
game would be better to watch and said, "I think I'm going to be at a
reception and dinner."

When questioned about his voting record, Roberts said most of his
predecessors took voting so seriously that they didn't vote in any
elections at all.
"I vote in the general elections and not the primaries," he said,
"because I figure voting in the primaries is more political than civic."

In addition to the breakfast, Roberts engaged in an off-the-record question-and-answer
session with Drake law students and met Drake faculty members for lunch before giving the 11th Dwight D. Opperman Lecture in Constitutional Law Thursday afternoon. Approximately 2,500 people attended the lecture, which was free and open to the public, in the Drake Knapp Center.