JACKSON, Miss. — The Latest on U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in Mississippi (all times local):

8:30 p.m.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is hailing the work of Mississippi’s state court system on its bicentennial.

Roberts spoke Wednesday to judges, lawyers and law students at a banquet in Jackson, following a competition of law students and meetings with state legal figures.

The 62-year-old Roberts, who has led the nation’s highest court since 2005, notes that the “overwhelming portion” of legal business is handled not in federal courts, but state courts.

Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice William Waller Jr. also addressed the 500-person audience at the banquet, focusing on the importance of courts to uphold laws.

Waller is also calling for Mississippi to expand its system of county courts and to complete the transition to a unified system of electronic records.


5:50 p.m.

Four Mississippi law students got to argue before the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, and he had kind words about their performance under pressure.

Chief Justice John Roberts was in Mississippi Wednesday for events marking 2017 as the state’s bicentennial.

He led a panel of six federal and state judges who heard a moot court case in the state Supreme Court chamber. Two students from the University of Mississippi and two from Mississippi College argued the case about corporate negligence.

Roberts said it was a “very realistic duplication of what we do in Washington” — except that the audience applauded for the law students after they argued.

Roberts said he lost his first moot court competition when he was a law student at Harvard.

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2:07 a.m.

U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will meet with law students and lawyers Wednesday in Mississippi.

Roberts, who has led the nation’s highest court since 2005, is coming to the state to celebrate the bicentennial of the state and its court system. Mississippi created its court system in 1817 when it joined the union.

The 62-year-old Roberts will swear in appellate court staff attorneys and law clerks to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, and meet with Mississippi appellate judges and staff.

Students from the state’s two law schools, the University of Mississippi and Mississippi College, will compete before Roberts and five other state and federal judges in a moot court competition.

Roberts will later address lawyers in a speech at a banquet.