Scholars use the most advanced methods in judicial studies to examine the role of Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

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The Chief Justice brings together leading scholars of the courts who employ social science theory and research to explain the role of the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. They consider the chief justice’s appointment, office, powers, and influence both within the Court and in the American system of government more generally. The chief justice presides over oral arguments and the justices’ private conferences. The chief justice speaks first in those conferences, presents cases and other matters to the other justices, and assigns the Court’s opinions in all cases in which the chief justice votes with the majority. In addition, the chief justice presides over the Judicial Conference of the United States, a policy-making body composed of lower-court federal judges. As Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes wrote, the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is “the most important judicial officer in the world.”

David J. Danelski is the Mary Lou and George Boone Centennial Professor Emeritus at Stanford University.
Artemus Ward is Professor of Political Science at Northern Illinois University.

“This collection of essays presents the first comprehensively systematic study of the role and powers of the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Inspired by and building on Danelski’s social psychological concepts of leadership, these chapters provide an integrated analysis of the historical, institutional, and behavioral developments in the office of the chief justice. The authors represent the major scholars from the field of law and courts in the discipline of political science, and demonstrate in their contributions the breadth of methodologies utilized in the field’s research.”
—Nancy Maveety, Tulane University

“Danelski and Ward bring together original research efforts by an exceptional group of scholars who examine the office of Chief Justice and the influence of those who have occupied it. The result is an important, multifaceted volume that greatly expands our understanding of the Supreme Court and the American political system.”
—Thomas G. Walker, Emory University