Chief of Staff to Chief Justice John Roberts to Resign Sept. 30

Chief of Staff to Chief Justice John Roberts to Resign Sept. 30
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts arrives at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 31, 2020. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
Matthew Vadum

The longtime counselor to Chief Justice John Roberts announced on Sept. 6 that he’s leaving his post at the end of the month.

Jeffrey P. Minear will retire on Sept. 30 after serving as Roberts’s chief of staff since 2006. Minear previously worked for the U.S. solicitor general’s office, where he argued 56 cases before the Supreme Court. As chief justice, Roberts is head of the federal judiciary as well as presiding officer of the Supreme Court.

Minear’s successor has yet to be named.

Under federal law, the counselor performs “such duties as may be assigned to him by the Chief Justice,” according to a statement from the court’s Public Information Office.

The counselor works with court officers on court-wide policies and initiatives and with court executives and judges in the administration of the judiciary and serves as a liaison to the executive and legislative branches on matters affecting the high court.

Minear has “represented the Chief Justice in relations with judicial organizations, foreign courts, and visiting dignitaries,” according to the statement.

“He has also supported the Chief Justice in his non-judicial responsibilities, including as Chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution,” it reads.

Minear said he has been “profoundly honored to support Chief Justice Roberts and his colleagues, on the Supreme Court and throughout our federal judiciary, in their vitally important work.”

“I am departing the office with appreciation for the opportunity, with esteem for each member of the Supreme Court, and with the utmost confidence in the independence and integrity of our courts,” he said.

The court stated that Minear “plans to remain active in the legal profession and in support of the Court and judiciary.”

Roberts praised his outgoing top aide.

“Jeff Minear has exemplified the finest tradition of Court staff, enabling the Supreme Court, and courts across our country, to serve the public efficiently and effectively,“ he said. ”He has brought deep knowledge, outstanding judgment, and a tireless work ethic to court management and improvement. I am grateful for the many years he has served so well as my Counselor and as an officer of Federal judicial administration.”

Roberts, a conservative who sometimes votes with the liberal bloc, has presided over a Supreme Court that has become more conservative in recent years. Former President Donald Trump appointed three conservative justices to the court: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.

Near the end of the court’s term in June, the court rendered landmark decisions that altered the jurisprudential trajectory of the court.

The court overturned the 1973 abortion precedent Roe v. Wade, returning the regulation of abortion to the states.

The court expanded Second Amendment rights, holding for the first time that individuals have the right to carry firearms in public for self-defense, and reined in some of the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory powers.