Getting to know Judge Roberts: Catholic Supreme Court nominee is family man

.- Earlier this week, President George Bush introduced Judge John Roberts as a Supreme Court nominee. The nomination quickly captured the interest of the media, but the man remained relatively unknown to a large majority of Americans.

Even Catholic League president William Donohue admitted in a press release Wednesday that he didn’t know Roberts was Catholic until a journalist, critical of the nomination, pointed it out.

Roberts was born in Buffalo, N.Y. He was the only boy in a family of three girls. According to a report by the Associated Press, his family soon moved to Long Beach, Ind., where his father, John Roberts Sr., was employed as an electrical engineer in the steel mills near Gary, Ind. Roberts also spent his summers in high school and college working at the mill.

Growing up, he attended Catholic elementary and high schools, and he remains a practising Catholic as a parishioner at Little Flower Catholic Church, not far from his current home in Maryland.

According to the AP, he married Jane Sullivan, a fellow lawyer, in 1996 when they were in their 40s. Mrs. Roberts, a graduate of Georgetown Law Center, is accomplished in her field. She is partner at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, where she specializes in communications and technology, and a member of the Supreme Court bar.

She, too, is an active Catholic. She serves on the board of governors of the John Carroll Society, a Catholic lay group that sponsors a mass before the start of the new Supreme Court term each year.

She was on the board of directors for Feminists for Life (1995-1999), and at one time was its executive vice president. She currently does pro bono legal work for the organization.

According to the AP report, the couple tried to have children of their own, but after some time they decided to adopt. They now have two children: five-year-old Jane and four-year-old Jack. Friends say the children bring a lot of joy to the couple.

The young family lives just outside Washington, in Chevy Chase, Md., in a two-story, white brick Colonial home. Roberts mows the lawn himself, a neighbor told the AP.

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