Category: Archive

Supreme nom’s wife has family ties to Limerick

February 17, 2011

By Staff Reporter

She is part owner of a home in the county and visits with family every couple of years, according to the New York Times.
And while her husband might be under intense scrutiny, it took only a few days after his nomination for Sullivan Roberts’ own achievements come under the microscope.
A successful lawyer in her own right, Sullivan Roberts grew up in the Morris Park section of the Bronx, once a stronghold of Irish and Italian Americans. She recalled playing stickball and Irish step dancing during her childhood.
Thanks to her father, a Postal Service technician and her mother, a medical secretary, Sullivan Roberts enjoyed a close-knit upbringing, including grandparents and the local parish, Our Lady of Solace, all on the same block that she lived on.
The eldest of four children, Sullivan Roberts attended the all-girls St. Catherine’s Academy and then became part of the first class of women to enter the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.
She graduated with a mathematics degree, and afterwards traveled throughout Australia, Nepal and Europe, still finding time to collect a master’s degree in mathematics from Brown and a law degree from Georgetown.
She arrived at the firm she currently works for, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, after clerking for Judge James M. Sprouse in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.
“I think she kind of just knew he was the one,” said Torre. “He had a great sense of humor, which in an Irish family is very important.”
In 2000, the couple adopted a daughter, Josephine, and a son, John, through what Torre told the Times was a private adoption.
The family has kept their ties to Ireland strong, and when they visit, staying in the home they co-own in the town of Knocklong in the Co. Limerick.
Described by many who know her as a feminist, Sullivan Roberts did not allow this ideal to conflict with her traditional upbringing and beliefs. Those close to her have been quoted as saying Sullivan Roberts’ Catholic faith has long played a central role in her life.
Much attention has been paid to Sullivan Roberts’ involvement in the group Feminists for Life, who consider themselves antiabortion.
This revalation has given rise to questions about how strongly the Robertses faith plays in their careers, given the highly-charged nature of John Roberts’ Supreme Court nomination.
Roberts has gone on the record to say that he believes his wife’s work should be off-limits, and found an unlikely ally in Senator Edward M. Kennedy, who agreed that Sullivan Roberts’ work “ought to be out of bounds.”
Sullivan Roberts’ sister Mary Torre told the New York Times that the Robertses met on a Delaware beach.

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