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Supreme Court Justice Roberts’ new counsel arrives at the High Court

The Honorable Robert M. Dow, Jr.
The Honorable Robert M. Dow, Jr.

The Honorable Robert M. Dow, Jr., has been appointed by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., as his new Counselor. Judge Dow will assume his position at the Supreme Court on December 5, 2022. He succeeds Jeffrey P. Minear, who retired on September 30, after 16 years as Counselor.

Judge Dow currently serves as a judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. In accordance with 28 U.S.C. §133(b), he will assume full-time responsibility as the Counselor to the Chief Justice. The Counselor is charged by statute with performing “such duties as may be assigned to him by the Chief Justice.” In that role, Judge Dow will serve as the Chief Justice’s chief of staff, working closely with Court officers on Court-wide policies and initiatives. The Counselor supports the Chief Justice as head of the federal judiciary, working in partnership with court executives and judges on matters of judicial administration, and as liaison to the executive and legislative branches on issues affecting the Court. The Counselor represents the Chief Justice in relations with judicial organizations, foreign courts, and visiting dignitaries. Judge Dow will also support the Chief Justice in his non-judicial responsibilities, including as Chancellor of the Smithsonian Institution.

The Chief Justice said: “I am pleased that Judge Dow has accepted my invitation to assist this Court and courts across the country in their important work. He is well prepared to take on these new responsibilities, and I look forward to a long and productive relationship.”

In accepting this appointment, Judge Dow said: “I am grateful to Chief Justice Roberts for the opportunity to serve him, the Supreme Court, and the judicial branch in this new role. It is an honor and privilege to succeed Jeffrey Minear following his long and highly successful tenure as Counselor.”

Judge Dow has served as a United States District Judge since December 2007 and is active in service to the Judicial Branch. He is Chair of the Judicial Conference’s Advisory Committee on Civil Rules on which he has served since 2013. From 2010 to 2013, he served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules and from 2012 to 2018, he was Chair of the Advisory Committee on Circuit Rules for the Seventh Circuit. Judge Dow has sat by designation on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth and Seventh Circuits and is a member of the American Law Institute. Prior to his judicial service, he was a partner at Mayer Brown LLP, where he was a member of the firm’s Appellate and Supreme Court and Telecommunications practice groups.

Judge Dow received his Bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Yale University, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1987. He earned an M.Phil. in international relations in 1990 and a D.Phil. in international relations in 1997, from the University of Oxford, which he attended on a Rhodes Scholarship. He received a J.D. at Harvard Law School, cum laude, in 1993. Following law school, he clerked for Judge Joel M. Flaum of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.

Judge Dow teaches complex litigation as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University Law School.


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