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Jay House Prez Holds Court with Current Day Chief Justice

Clary Meets The Chief

(Photo Credit: National Center for State Courts)

Suzanne Clary, President of the Jay Heritage Center and MyRye.com history correspondent, held court with the current Chief Justice, John Roberts, at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on November 18th. The Jay House is the family home of 1st US Supreme Court Chief Justice, John Jay.

Clary had the privilege of telling Justice Roberts about the Jay Property in Rye, NY and efforts to restore the National Historic Landmark where Jay grew up and is buried with his ancestors, his descendants and the slaves he freed.

MyRye.com asked its history correspondent how she came to hold court, at The Court, with The Chief – "My husband Rich and I were attending the 2010 William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence Dinner hosted annually by the National Center for State Courts in the US Supreme Court. Rich clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall and was on the Harvard Law Review with Justice Roberts. Justice Roberts was pleased to see us and of course I did invite him to Rye when his schedule permits… If there is a moment I will remember it is ascending the stairs for dinner from the lobby to the Great Hall with all the other guests, and seeing the bust of John Jay presiding over our procession. Not only is Jay's bust the first you see out of all the sculptures of the Chief Justices, but it stands out as special because it is the only one made of terracotta, not marble" said Clary.

John Jay was Chief Justice from 1789-1795. George Washington appointed Jay on September 26, 1789 and insisted: "There must be a court, perpetual and supreme, to which all questions of internal dispute between States or people be referred. This Court must be greater than any individual State, separated and apart from any political party. You must be the first official head of this Court, just as I am now head of the Executive." The First Supreme Court assembled on Feb. 2, 1790, at the Merchant's Exchange in Manhattan when New York City was the Nation's Capital.


  1. It would be a great honor to have the Chief Justice visit Rye so once again my hat is off to Mrs. Cleary. Maybe an upcoming visit like this might provide the political “motivation” to actually do something about our various practices at City Hall. Otherwise Mrs. Cleary might be required to FOIL for an official city invitation.


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