US Chief Justice John Roberts made headlines in the US media after saying he needed to go to a fortress and would therefore be heading for Malta to teach a law summer class.

The judge has just endured a tough spell of scrutiny over his decision to uphold President Barack Obama’s healthcare law.

Responding to a question about his summer break at a judges’ conference in Pennsylvania on Friday, Dr Roberts said he planned to teach a class for two weeks in Malta.

He joked that following the ruling, taking a trip to the “impregnable island fortress” was a “good idea”.

On Thursday, the conservative-leaning leader of the court cast the decisive vote to uphold Mr Obama’s healthcare law.

During the next two weeks he will be taking part in a summer programme offered by Boston’s New England Law. He will also serve as a faculty member at the University of Malta’s Foundation for International Studies.

Together with Harvard Professor Richard Lazarus, Dr Roberts will be teaching a credit called the US Supreme Court in Historical Perspective.