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Oaths of Office Taken by the Chief Justices


Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States are required to take two oaths before they may execute the duties of their appointed office. This list provides specifics about the oaths of the Chief Justices of the United States.

  1. John Jay – Took his oaths on October 19, 1789, before Richard Morris, the Chief Justice of the State of New York.
  2. John Rutledge – Under a temporary recess appointment from President George Washington, Rutledge took both oaths in open court on August 12, 1795, at City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was not subsequently confirmed by the Senate.
  3. Oliver Ellsworth – Took both oaths in open court at the sitting of the Supreme Court of the United States on March 8, 1796, at City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  4. John Marshall – On February 4, 1801, Marshall presented his commission, dated January 31, 1801, to the Clerk of the Court at the Supreme Court’s first sitting in Washington. He took both oaths in the temporary Courtroom provided for the Court in the unfinished Capitol.
  5. Roger B. Taney – Took both oaths of office on March 28, 1836, before United States District Judge Elias Glenn in the Circuit Court Room in Baltimore, Maryland.
  6. Salmon P. Chase – Took both oaths on December 15, 1864, before senior Associate Justice James M. Wayne.
  7. Morrison R. Waite – Took both oaths on March 4, 1874 before the Clerk of the Court, D.W. Middleton. The Constitutional Oath was administered in the Clerk’s Office of the U.S. Capitol building and the Judicial Oath in open court.
  8. Melville W. Fuller – Took both oaths on October 8, 1888. He took the Constitutional Oath before Samuel F. Miller, senior Associate Justice, and the Judicial Oath in open court administered by the Clerk of the Court.
  9. Edward D. White – Took both oaths of office on December 19, 1910, administered by John Marshall Harlan, senior Associate Justice.
  10. William H. Taft – Took both oaths before A. A. Hoehling, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia, on July 11, 1921. On October 3, 1921, he took the Judicial Oath again, this time in open court before senior Associate Justice Joseph McKenna.
  11. Charles E. Hughes – Took both oaths on February 24, 1930. Senior Associate Justice Oliver W. Holmes, Jr., administered the Constitutional Oath in the Robing Room in the Capitol and the Judicial Oath was administered in open court by the Clerk of the Court.
  12. Oath of Harlan F. Stone Harlan F. Stone – The Senate confirmed Stone while he was on vacation in Colorado. Notified by telegram from the White House that his commission had been signed on July 3, 1941, Stone took both oaths in his cottage at the Sprague Hotel before Wayne H. Hackett, the United States Commissioner for Rocky Mountain National Park (right).
  13. Fred M. Vinson – Took both oaths on June 24, 1946, before Chief Justice D. Lawrence Groner of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The oath ceremony was held on the South Portico of the White House with President Harry S Truman present.
  14. Earl Warren – Acting under a recess appointment from President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Warren took the Constitutional Oath in the Justices’ Conference Room on October 5, 1953, before Hugo L. Black, senior Associate Justice. The Court convened and the Clerk of the Court administered the Judicial Oath in open court. Upon confirmation by the Senate and receipt of his permanent commission, Warren took a Combined Oath before Associate Justice Robert H. Jackson on March 20, 1954.
  15. Warren E. Burger – Took the Combined Oath in open court on June 23, 1969, during a special sitting of the Court. The oaths were administered by retiring Chief Justice Earl Warren with President Richard M. Nixon present.
  16. William H. Rehnquist – Took the Constitutional Oath, administered by retiring Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, on September 26, 1986, at the White House. Later that day, he took the Judicial Oath in open court, also before Chief Justice Burger.
  17. John G. Roberts, Jr. – Took both oaths at the White House at the invitation of President George W. Bush on September 29, 2005. The oaths were administered by senior Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. The Judicial Oath was taken first during a private ceremony in the Diplomatic Reception Room with the members of the Court and their spouses present. The Constitutional Oath was taken during a nationally televised ceremony from the East Room of the White House. On Monday, October 3, 2005, during a special sitting of the Court that preceded the Court’s scheduled arguments, Justice Stevens administered the Judicial Oath again. President George W. Bush attended this Courtroom ceremony.
December 21, 2014 | Version 2014.1