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Oaths Taken by the Current Court

John G. Roberts, Jr. - Took both oaths to become the seventeenth Chief Justice of the United States at the White House on September 29, 2005. Both oaths were administered by senior Associate Justice John Paul Stevens. The private Judicial Oath ceremony was held in the Diplomatic Reception Room followed immediately by a public ceremony televised 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.

Anthony M. Kennedy - Took the Constitutional and Judicial Oaths in the Justices’ Conference Room on February 18, 1988. This was followed by a special sitting of the Court where Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist once again administered the Judicial Oath. President Ronald Reagan did not attend the ceremonies at the Supreme Court Building, but hosted a ceremony in the East Room of the White House later that day where the Chief Justice administered the Constitutional Oath a second time to Justice Kennedy.

Clarence Thomas - Took the Constitutional Oath during a nationally televised ceremony from the White House Rose Garden on October 18, 1991. The oath was administered by the senior Associate Justice, Byron R. White. Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist administered the Judicial Oath to Thomas in the Justices’ Conference Room on October 23, 1991. On Friday, November 1, 1991, a formal investiture ceremony was held in the Courtroom, at which time the Chief Justice again administered the Judicial Oath to Justice Thomas.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg - Took the Constitutional Oath on August 10, 1993, during a nationally televised ceremony at the White House hosted by President William J. Clinton. The oath was administered by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist. Earlier that day, in a private ceremony in the Justices’ Conference Room, Chief Justice Rehnquist administered the Judicial Oath to Ginsburg. On Friday, October 1, 1993, the Judicial Oath was taken for a second time during a special sitting of the Court, with President Clinton in attendance.

Stephen G. Breyer - Took both oaths in Greensboro, Vermont, before Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, on Wednesday, August 3, 1994. On Friday, August 12, 1994, an oath ceremony for Justice Breyer was held in the East Room of the White House. Associate Justice Antonin Scalia administered the Constitutional Oath for the second time during this nationally televised event. Vice President Al Gore, in President Clinton’s absence, spoke at the ceremony, as did First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton. On Friday, September 30, 1994, a formal investiture ceremony attended by President Clinton took place at the Supreme Court where Chief Justice Rehnquist again administered the Judicial Oath.

Samuel A. Alito, Jr. - Took both oaths on Tuesday, January 31, 2006, in the Justices’ Conference Room. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., administered the oaths during a private ceremony that was attended by members of the Supreme Court. The following day, Justice Alito took the Constitutional Oath a second time before Chief Justice Roberts in the East Room of the White House. President George W. Bush hosted the ceremony and members of the Court, the Cabinet, and the Senate were present. President Bush did not attend the investiture ceremony at the Supreme Court held on February 16, 2009.

Sonia Sotomayor - Became the first Hispanic Justice on the Supreme Court after taking both oaths on Saturday, August 8, 2009. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., first administered the Constitutional Oath in the Justices’ Conference Room. Mrs. Celina Sotomayor (mother) held the Bible as Dr. Juan Sotomayor (brother), Judge Robert A. Katzmann, and Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy looked on. The Chief Justice then administered the Judicial Oath in the East Conference Room before a small gathering of her family and friends. The Judicial Oath was broadcast live on TV. A formal investiture ceremony was held on Tuesday, September 8, 2009, with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joseph Biden in attendance.

Elena Kagan - Was sworn in as the 100th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Saturday, August 7, 2010. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., first administered the Constitutional Oath (below) in the Justices’ Conference Room attended by members of the Kagan family and several Justices. The Chief Justice then administered the Judicial Oath in the West Conference Room before a televised audience and a small gathering of her friends and family. Justice Kagan took the Judicial Oath for a second time during a formal investiture ceremony on Friday, October 1, 2010, with President Obama in attendance.

Oath of Elena Kagan
Credit: Steve Petteway, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States.

 

 

 

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