Chief Justices of the U.S. Supreme Court

The three branches of the United States federal government are the executive, legislative, and judicial. The head of the judicial branch is the Chief Justice of the United States. The Chief Justice is both the head of United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine voting justices, the other eight being known as Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States. From 1789 to 1866, the official title was Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

As the highest judicial officer in the country, the Chief Justice acts as a chief administrative officer for the federal courts, appoints the director of the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, and serves as spokesman for the judicial branch.

In general, the Chief Justice has not previously served as an Associate Justice before his appointment to the highest position. Like the other justices, the Chief Justice is appointed for life. In practice, most retire, albeit at an advanced age. John Marshall, who served longer than any other Chief Justice, died as the result of an accident at the age of 79.

Service

Chief Justice

Life Span

Born/Represented

1789–1795

John Jay

1745-1829

New York

1795

John Rutledge

1739-1800

South Carolina

1796–1800

Oliver Ellsworth

1745-1807

Connecticut

1801–1835

John Marshall

1755-1835

Virginia

1836–1864

Roger B. Taney

1777-1864

Maryland

1864–1873

Salmon P. Chase

1808-1873

N.H. / Ohio

1874–1888

Morrison R. Waite

1816-1888

Conn. / Ohio

1888–1910

Melville W. Fuller

1833-1910

Maine / Illinois

1910–1921

Edward D. White

1845-1921

Louisiana

1921–1930

William H. Taft

1857-1930

Ohio / Conn.

1930–1941

Charles E. Hughes

1862-1948

New York

1941–1946

Harlan F. Stone

1872-1946

N.H. / New York

1946–1953

Frederick M. Vinson

1890-1953

Kentucky

1953–1969

Earl Warren

1891-1974

California

1969–1986

Warren Burger

1907-1995

Minn. / Virginia

1986–2005

William Rehnquist

1924-2005

Wis. / Arizona

2005-

John G. Roberts Jr.

1955-

New York / D.C.

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