July 25, 2005


Roberts Was Ready at Every Turn: High Court Nominee's Fortunes Called Result of Being Well-Prepared, Focused (Richard A. Serrano, David G. Savage and Richard B. Schmitt, July 25, 2005, LA Times)

Three Republican presidents have shepherded him at the White House. Two powerful federal judges have mentored him in the law. And one of the capital's most prestigious law firms helped make him a millionaire. At every step in his 25-year legal career in Washington, it seems good fortune has traveled with him.

Even his first appearance in the nation's capital, where as a young man he'd walk each morning from his cramped Capitol Hill apartment to his new job as a Supreme Court clerk, could not have been timed more fortuitously.

The year was 1980, the dawn of the Reagan revolution.

His boss was William H. Rehnquist, the future chief justice of the United States.

And for a young conservative, bright but conforming, modest and deeply religious, a workaholic content with weekends in the office, the only son of a steel plant manager, raised on the shore of Lake Michigan, John G. Roberts Jr. had arrived.

A quarter-century later, Harvard-educated and Washington-trained, at age 50 he now stands on the brink of where he seems to have been headed all along. President Bush nominated him last week to the Supreme Court.

"Opportunity is important. Chance is important," said Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga.), a classmate of Roberts at Harvard Law School. "But opportunity and chance also favor the prepared mind. And he's clearly the kind of person who was prepared to serve."

Harvard Law School exists to prepare guys like him for jobs like this.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 25, 2005 8:35 AM

First: "it seems good fortune has traveled with him"...

And then a few sentences later: "bright but conforming, modest and deeply religious, a workaholic content with weekends in the office"...

So: bright and hard-working = lucky? I guess Branch Rickey was right: "Chance favors the prepared mind."

Posted by: Foos at July 25, 2005 3:49 PM

I guess this is just one more example of a guy who won life's lottery.

Posted by: ray at July 25, 2005 8:51 PM