Supreme Court Justices Selected To Swear-In President Obama, Vice President Biden

11:32 PM, Jan 4, 2013   |    comments
  • Share
  • Print
  • - A A A +
  • Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., administering oath of office to President Obama the first time January 20, 2009.
  • Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr., administering oath of office to President Obama the second time January 21, 2009.

WASHINGTON, DC (WUSA/AP)-- Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, Jr., will get a third and fourth shot at administering the oath of office for President Barack Obama.  Shot Number 3 will be on Sunday, January 20th at the White House and Shot Number 4 will be on Monday, January 21 on the west front of the U.S. Capitol.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will do the honors on both days for Vice President Joe Biden.

For the seventh time the Constitutionally mandated Inauguration date of January 20 falls on a Sunday.  Historically the public Inauguration is not held on a Sunday.  Therefore, President Obama and Vice President Biden will be officially sworn in at the White House on January 20.  Then the ceremonial swearing-in, which is open to the public, will be held at the U.S. Capitol on Monday, January 21 followed by the Inaugural Parade and official balls.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) says, "President Obama followed presidential precedent in choosing the Chief Justice to administer his oath of office. Vice President Biden personally selected Associate Justice Sotomayor, who will be the first Hispanic and fourth female judge to administer an oath of office."

This will not be the first time Chief Justice Roberts administers the oath of office to President Obama in back-to-back ceremonies.  Who can forget the flub heard 'round the world in 2009?

VIDEO:  Watch President Obama Taking 2009 Oath of Office

It happened when President Obama interrupted Justice Roberts midway through the opening line, in which the president repeats his name and solemnly swears.

Next in the oath is the phrase " ... that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States." But Roberts rearranged the order of the words, not saying "faithfully" until after "president of the United States."

That appeared to throw Mr. Obama off. He stopped abruptly at the word "execute."

Recognizing something was off, Roberts then repeated the phrase, putting "faithfully" in the right place but without repeating "execute."

But Obama then repeated Roberts' original, incorrect version: "... the office of president of the United States faithfully."

The next day, after the mistake, President Barack Obama took the oath of office again.  And again, Chief Justice Roberts delivered the oath to Obama at the White House.

Don't worry, the White House said in 2009: Mister Obama has still been president since noon on Inauguration Day.

Nevertheless, President Obama and Chief Justice Roberts went through the drill again out of what White House counsel Greg Craig called "an abundance of caution."

Craig said in a statement the following Wednesday evening in 2009: "We believe the oath of office was administered effectively and that the president was sworn in appropriately yesterday. Yet the oath appears in the Constitution itself. And out of the abundance of caution, because there was one word out of sequence, Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath a second time."

The Constitution is clear about the exact wording of the oath and as a result, some constitutional experts have said that a do-over probably wasn't necessary but also couldn't hurt. Two other previous presidents have repeated the oath because of similar issues, Calvin Coolidge and Chester A. Arthur.

Article 2, Section 1, Clause 8 of the Constitution states:

"Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

The 2009 do-over was held in the White House Map Room in front of a small group of reporters, not the Capitol platform before the whole watching world.

"We decided that because it was so much fun ...," President Obama joked to reporters who followed press secretary Robert Gibbs into the room. No TV camera crews or news photographers were allowed in.

Roberts put on his black robe.

"Are you ready to take the oath?" he said.

"Yes, I am," Obama said. "And we're going to do it very slowly."

Roberts then led Obama through the oath without any missteps.

The president said he did not have his Bible with him, but that the oath was binding anyway.

Most Watched Videos