John G. Roberts Opposes an Intercircuit Tribunal

June 17th, 2012

In the early 1980s, Chief Justice Burger suggested the creation of an Intercircuit Tribunal–that is, an intermediary Court between the Courts of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Future-Chief Justice Roberts, then a DOJ lawyer, writes this scathing memo lampooning this “exceedingly ill-advised” idea. Brilliant. He mocks the Justices and their low workload–“it is true that only Supreme Court Justices and schoolchildren are expected to and do take the entire summer off.” And this–“Under the committee proposal a Carter-appointed judge (there definitely will have to be some on the new court) could write a nationally-binding opinion reversing an opinion by Bork, Winter, Posner, ro Scalia–something that cannot happen now.”