The judicial article of the Constitution (Article III) does not mention a chief justice. However, the role is vital and the office has grown considerably over the years. That said, ‘The chief justice’ argues that the single most important power the chief justice exercises may still be to cast one of the nine votes that determine the outcome of a Supreme Court case. Looking from a 21st-century perspective, it is more accurate to think of the chief justice as a chief executive of the Supreme Court and the entire judicial branch. It is a job that it is difficult to prepare for. Prior service on the Court is useful, but uncommon. The chief justice has a symbolic purpose as well as a practical one.