When John Roberts Jr. is described as the nominee to be the 17th chief justice of the United States, professor Ross Davies just chuckles. That isn't a comment on Roberts or his qualifications. What amuses Davies is that he is quite sure that Roberts, if confirmed, will be the 18th chief justice, not the 17th. In a law review article, Davies makes a forceful argument that William Cushing, an associate justice appointed by President George Washington, served as chief justice for two days in February 1796.
The Chief Justice Who Wasn't There
September 21, 2005