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U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts said Wednesday that
people shouldn't think the high court's justices make decisions in
terms of a liberal or conservative agenda.

Roberts told a crowd of nearly 4,800 people at Rice University in
Houston that many of the court's close votes have had nothing to do
with politics.

"We look at these cases and resolve them ... not in terms of a
particular liberal or conservative agenda," he said. "It's just easier
for reporters to say that justice is liberal and that justice is
conservative."

From reading some of the court's opinions, Roberts added, people may
think that justices are "at each other's throats." But he said all the
justices are "extremely close."

Roberts, taking a break from the high court's current term in
Washington, talked in general about his work leading the nation's
highest court. But he didn't discuss some of the court's more recent
high-profile cases — including voting to uphold much of President
Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

Roberts, who was appointed by President George W. Bush, made headlines
when he voted with the liberal justices in that 5-4 landmark decision.
After that ruling, Roberts became the focus of criticism from some of
the nation's leading conservatives while liberals applauded his
statesmanship.


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