BREAKING NEWS ~ John Roberts sworn in as Chief Justice

BREAKING NEWS ~ John Roberts sworn in as Chief Justice

[JURIST] Following this morning's confirmation vote [JURIST report] in the US Senate, John Roberts [JURIST news archive] has been sworn in as Chief Justice of the United States at a ceremony at the White House. Justice John Paul Stevens administered the oath of office. CBS News has more.

5:39 PM ET – Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony, President Bush said:

Today we complete a process set forth in Article II of the Constitution, which provides that the President shall nominate, and by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, shall appoint the judges of the Supreme Court. The nomination power is one of the most serious responsibilities of a President. When a President chooses a Supreme Court justice he is placing in human hands the full authority and majesty of the law.

Each member of our highest court holds a position of extraordinary influence and respect, and can hold it for a lifetime. The office of Chief Justice has added responsibilities as leader of the Court, and as presiding officer of the Judicial Conference of the United States. To carry out all these duties, I submitted to the Senate a nominee of integrity, deep humility, and uncommon talent. …

As Judge Roberts prepares to lead the judicial branch of government, all Americans can be confident that the 17th Chief Justice of the United States will be prudent in exercising judicial power, firm in defending judicial independence, and above all, a faithful guardian of the Constitution.

After taking the oath of office, Roberts remarked:

The process we have just completed epitomizes the separation of powers that is enshrined in our Constitution. My nomination was announced some 10 weeks ago here in the White House, the home of the executive branch. This morning, further up Pennsylvania Avenue, it was approved in the Capitol, the home of the executive [sic] branch. And tomorrow, I will go into the Supreme Court building to join my colleagues, the home of the judicial branch, to undertake my duties. The executive and the legislature have carried out their constitutional responsibilities and ensured the succession of authority and responsibility in the judicial branch.

What Daniel Webster termed, "the miracle of our Constitution" is not something that happens every generation. But every generation in its turn must accept the responsibility of supporting and defending the Constitution, and bearing true faith and allegiance to it. That is the oath that I just took. I will try to ensure, in the discharge of my responsibilities, that with the help of my colleagues, I can pass on to my children's generation a charter of self-government as strong and as vibrant as the one that Chief Justice Rehnquist passed on to us.

Read the full text of the President's and Chief Justice Roberts' remarks.