Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. Highlights Civic Education in Year-End Report


In his annual year-end report, Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court John Roberts, Jr., focused on civics education, calling for increased confidence in and education about the judicial system.

After opening with an anecdote about the founding fathers in which a misinformed mob injured John Jay, co-author of the Federalist Papers, Roberts said that the “principles [of the Constitution] leave no place for mob violence.”

“We have come to take democracy for granted, and civic education has fallen by the wayside,” Roberts write in his report. “In our age, when social media can instantly spread rumor and false information on a grand scale, the public’s need to understand our government, and the protections it provides, is ever more vital. The judiciary has an important role to play in civic education, and I am pleased to report that the judges and staff of our federal courts are taking up the challenge.”

Roberts then details several programs designed to increase the transparency of the judicial system, including classroom programming and the “Open Doors to Federal Courts” intiative where students participate in a mock trial.

He also highlights similar programs in New York City, New York; St. Louis, Missouri; and Sacramento, California.

Near the end of his report, Roberts praised the work of retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, who helped to found iCivics, a non-profit that helps educate students about civics through free teacher resources, as well as Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who “picked up the torch in that effort.”

The chief justice emphasized that civics education is an ongoing task, saying that although the Federalist Papers provide a foundation, they are only a “starting point.”

“Civic education, like all education, is a continuing enterprise and conversation,” Roberts wrote. “Each generation has an obligation to pass on to the next, not only a fully functioning government responsive to the needs of the people, but the tools to understand and improve it.”

Read Roberts’ full report here.

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Jordyn Pair is a reporter for The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]






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3 Thoughts to “Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. Highlights Civic Education in Year-End Report”

  1. Robert Roark

    Justice Roberts call for civics education is ironic, as the judiciary has been the chief culprit in aborting civics from America’s political system. Coupled with politicians seeking more and more power over who does what, the combination is a cruel burden on our Constitution as the law of the land. He also sees this as an educational opportunity, ignoring how our educational system has led us to the brink of socialism while fostering fake science, cultural confusion, and hedonism. The idea a government should be responsive to the “needs of the people” turns the Constitution on its head. It was not intended to meet their needs; it was intended to secure their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. If government did this, men could determine and provide for their own needs.

  2. Sim

    Roberts said that the “principles [of the Constitution] leave no place for mob violence.”
    “We have come to take democracy for granted, and civic education has fallen by the wayside,”

    So has the interpretation of the Constitution, fallen by the way side, as was originally intended.

    “IF” the court would come out in plain language and say what the Framers of the Constitution intended for the Constitution to mean, we wouldn’t be having these Second Amendment problems out of these Idiot Democrats.

    By “EXPRESSLY STIPULATED” citizens rights, Madison said that including the Bill of Rights would add additional support against Government encroachment.

    “they will be an impenetrable bulwark against every assumption of power in the legislative or executive; they will be naturally led to resist every encroachment upon rights expressly stipulated for in the constitution by the declaration of rights”.

    (The Annals of Congress, House of Representatives, First Congress, 1st Session, pp 448-460. )

    And there is a good possibility that only blood in the street will convince people of how the Courts have “perverted” law in order to justify their “march toward tyranny”.

    We don’t have a “Nobility class” of citizens in this country, it’s citizens who wear the uniforms of law/Military, all have to suffer the same jeopardy of life equally,

    and that means all armed equally, where ever they go.

    Your interpretation of the Constitution is backwards to what the framers intended.

    “On every question of construction of the Constitution, let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates,
    and instead of trying what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, conform to the probable one in which it was passed.”

    – Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823

  3. John R

    Someone should inform the Chief Justice that we don’t live in a Democracy