Chapter 4 The chief justice
- Linda Greenhouse
The chief justice is not mentioned in the judicial article of the Constitution (Article III), but “The chief justice” demonstrates how the role has grown in importance over time. It is a multifaceted role, like that of a chief executive of a company. A traditional legal background is not necessarily the best preparation. Some chief justices believed that casting one of the nine votes in a case is still one of their most useful functions. It was a chief justice, William Howard Taft, who decided that the Supreme Court’s caseload should be decided on a discretionary basis, putting the Court in a position to dictate America’s legal agenda.