Schiff, Biggert Host Meeting with Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr.

Washington, D.C. – Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Judy Biggert (R-IL), Co-Chairs of the Congressional Caucus on the Judicial Branch, today hosted a meeting for House members with Chief Justice of the United States John G. Roberts, Jr. and James C. Duff, who will shortly take over as the Director of the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. The meeting was part of an ongoing effort by the Caucus to improve the relationship between the legislative and judicial branches of our federal government.  Today’s meeting was the 5th meeting in a series of discussions the Caucus is hosting with Supreme Court Justices, state court judges, and other members of the judiciary in hopes of fostering a better working relationship between the courts and Congress. The Caucus previously met with the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist, Supreme Court Justice David Hackett Souter, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and a group of state Supreme Court Justices.

“Our meeting with Chief Justice Roberts was candid and productive, and I want to thank him for taking the time to meet with us today,” Schiff said.  “We are committed to continuing efforts to restore the comity between our two branches.  It is my hope that we can work together to support a strong and independent judiciary.”

“The fact that the Chief Justice is taking the time to meet with members of the House so early in his first term is a very good sign,” said Biggert.  “We appreciate learning his perspective on a variety of issues, and I’m hopeful that the exchange was as helpful to him as well.  We indicated that the doors of the House are always open to him and his colleagues on the Court.”  

Reps. Schiff and Biggert earlier this year introduced the Federal Judicial Fairness Act of 2006 (H.R. 5014) which would reform the outdated compensation system for federal judges.  The goal of the bill is to keep highly-qualified, experienced judges from leaving the bench because of current pay inequities.

Congressman Schiff is a former federal prosecutor and sits on the House Judiciary and International Relations committees.  He represents California's 29th Congressional District, which includes the communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel, Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena and Temple City.

Congresswoman Biggert is a former probate lawyer who began her legal career as clerk to the Honorable Luther M. Swygert, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  She serves on the Education and Workforce, Financial Services, Science, and Standards of Official Conduct committees.  Biggert’s Illinois Congressional district stretches from the southern half of DuPage County to northern Will County and includes a small portion of southwestern Cook County.