The Annual Report From Chief Justice Roberts

From the Brennan Center Fair Courts Alert

On December 31, 2019, Chief Justice John Roberts released his annual year-end report on the federal judiciary, the focus of which was the importance of civic education. The report also “seemed to continue a conversation with Mr. Trump about the role of the courts,” according to The New York Times.
In the report, Roberts began with a discussion of “America’s greatest civil lesson,” remarking that the authors of the Federalist Papers “ultimately succeeded in convincing the public of the virtues of the principles embodied in the Constitution.” But in the ensuing years,” the chief justice wrote, “we have come to take democracy for granted, and civic education has fallen by the wayside.”
Roberts goes on to say that the judiciary “has an important role to play in civic education,” and describes the ways in which federal judges and court staff have taken up that challenge: posting decisions online so the public can read them, producing curriculum materials for students, hosting live events, creating online resources for the general public, and engaging with their communities as volunteers.
Roberts concluded the report with a message to his judicial colleagues, asking that they “continue their efforts to promote public confidence in the judiciary, both through their rulings and through civic outreach. We should celebrate our strong and independent judiciary, a key source of national unity and stability.”

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