Being the chief justice of the United States is not all about big, weighty legal issues. Here is a sampling of the 53 duties designated in federal law for the chief:

* Approve appointments and salaries of some court employees.

* Direct the publication of Supreme Court opinions.

* Approve rules for the Supreme Court library.

* Select a company to handle the printing and binding of court opinions.

* Send appeals back to lower courts, if justices cannot agree on them.

* Call and preside at an annual meeting of the Judicial Conference of the United States and report to Congress the conference's recommendations for legislation.

* Approve appointments made by the Architect of the Capitol of employees to care for the Supreme Court building and grounds.

* Approve regulations prescribed by the marshal of the Supreme Court for protection of the Supreme Court building and grounds.

* Appoint two members of the judiciary to the Commission on Executive, Legislative and Judicial Salaries.

* Report to Congress on changes in the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure prescribed by the Supreme Court.

* Authorized to report to the president should any of the chief judges of the Court of Claims, the Customs Court or the Court of Customs and Patent Appeals become unable to discharge his or her duties.

* Authorized to name three members of the judiciary to the Advisory Corrections Council.

* Be a member of the Smithsonian Institution.

* Serve on the board of trustees of the National Gallery of Art.

* Serve on the board of trustees of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

-- Associated Press