This category is not for articles on characters who were Chief Justices of the United States, but for purposes of supercategorization of the subcategories for OTL and ATL Chief Justices. Articles on chief justices should be placed in one or both of these subcategories, not in this category itself.

The Chief Justice of the United States is the highest judicial officer in the United States and is the head of the Judicial Branch of the Federal government (consisting of the Federal court system as well as the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, whose director the Chief Justice appoints).

The Chief Justice is a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, over which he presides. The other justices, called Associate Justices, enjoy considerable benefits based on seniority, including the right to assign the writing of an opinion in a majority if they are the senior justice in that majority. However, the Chief Justice automatically outranks all other justices on the court in this matter as well as in less substantive perks of seniority. This is true even when the Chief Justice is the Court's most junior member.

By tradition, the Chief Justice administers the Oath of Office to the President of the United States on the first day of a new presidential term, or if the Vice President of the United States or another member of the Presidential line of succession has ascended to the office upon the death or resignation of a President. The Chief Justice also administers the Oath to incoming Associate Justices as well as to other political officials on occasion. However, none of these roles are Constitutionally mandated.

What is Constitutionally mandated is that the Chief Justice preside over the United States Senate when that body is engaged in impeachment proceedings against the President of the United States. This has happened twice in US history, and both times, the Senate's normal presiding officer (President pro tempore Benjamin Wade, during the 1868 impeachment of Andrew Johnson, and Vice President Al Gore, during the 1999 impeachment of Bill Clinton) would have immediately become President upon the conviction of the defendant (though both Presidents were acquitted). The Founders anticipated that this situation would create a serious conflict of interest.

The Chief Justice is often incorrectly referred to as the "Chief Justice of the Supreme Court" (or "of the United States Supreme Court," or "of the Supreme Court of the United States"). This was indeed once the office's title, but it was changed to its current form in 1864.


This category has the following 2 subcategories, out of 2 total.