This quote is circulating around the chattering-class circles: “From my own experience as a Supreme Court practitioner, it’s no surprise that John Roberts would have been asked to help with Supreme Court cases that other colleagues had brought into the firm. And it certainly is not uncommon to have to advance a legal position with which the lawyer might not agree were he the judge in the case.” Kenneth W. Starr, Former U.S. Solicitor General, Partner at Kirkland & Ellis, and Dean of Pepperdine School of Law.
Among lawyers I’ve talked to and secondhand conversations today, I’ve not encountered anyone who thinks it would be unusual at all for Roberts to have lent a hand in a case in this way. Evidently lawyers who worked with Roberts at Hogan & Hartson say that he had a policy of being cooperative whenever the pro bono department at the firm asked. One estimate I’ve seen estimates he probably was part of 100 moot courts at the firm’s request. Sounds like he was just doing his job.