Chief Justice Roberts Messes Up The Oath

Update 8:29pm MT (TL): Obama in an ABC interview tonight said:

“We were up there, we’ve got a lot of stuff on our minds. He actually, I think, helped me out on a couple of stanzas there,” the president said. “Overall, I think it went relatively smoothly and I’m very grateful to him.”

Update (TL): Video here.


Chief Justice John Roberts is a man who has made very few public missteps in his life -- but he appears to have made one when swearing in Barack Obama. After Obama stepped on the first line of the oath, Roberts then slightly flubbed the next bit--which then tripped up Obama.

[ More ...]

Actually I think Roberts stepped on the first line. Apparently, Roberts has never seen "Animal House" -- "I, state your name . . ."

The transcript of the flub:

ROBERTS: Are you prepared to take the oath, Senator?
OBAMA: I am.
ROBERTS: I, Barack Hussein Obama...
OBAMA: I, Barack...
ROBERTS: ... do solemnly swear...
OBAMA: I, Barack Hussein Obama, do solemnly swear...
ROBERTS: ... that I will execute the office of president to the United States faithfully...
OBAMA: ... that I will execute...
ROBERTS: ... faithfully the office of president of the United States...
OBAMA: ... the office of president of the United States faithfully...
ROBERTS: ... and will to the best of my ability...
OBAMA: ... and will to the best of my ability...
ROBERTS: ... preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
OBAMA: ... preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.
ROBERTS: So help you God?
OBAMA: So help me God.
ROBERTS: Congratulations, Mr. President.

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  • Display: Sort:
    All part of a plot. . . (5.00 / 5) (#6)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:36:12 PM EST
    to later claim that Obama never actually took the oath of office.  I never trusted that shifty-eyed Roberts.

    That story's already (none / 0) (#10)
    by scribe on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:47:40 PM EST
    well on its way to being the grist for the waves of wingnut radio.

    Secret Muslim has a problem saying faithfully (none / 0) (#23)
    by jerry on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:21:45 PM EST
    To be honest (5.00 / 5) (#8)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:44:45 PM EST
    both these guys have just a little too much Mr. Perfect about them.  It's useful to be reminded that we're all just human.

    If Roberts suddenly decided (5.00 / 6) (#12)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:47:45 PM EST
    that he wanted to resign and go to Brazil to take up hiking, I would not object.

    republicans screw everything up (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by pluege on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:44:53 PM EST
    its in their blood.

    Am I the only one. . . (5.00 / 3) (#17)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:55:20 PM EST
    who sees "Chief Justice Roberts" but hears "Dread Pirate Roberts"?

    lol (none / 0) (#32)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:42:28 PM EST
    Perhaps (none / 0) (#39)
    by CoralGables on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:52:06 PM EST
    but the six fingered man has left the building and we are no longer headed deeper into the fire swamp and being threatened by R.O.U.S.'s

    Me too! (none / 0) (#65)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:52:16 PM EST
    I've been saying that since he came on board and people just look at me strange. Well, they do that anyway, actually.

    But I call him Chief Pirate Roberts (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:52:52 PM EST
    Ann Althouse (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:56:14 PM EST
    had a good line:
    I wonder what Barack Obama was thinking. Maybe: Some textualist you turned out to be!

    Roar! (none / 0) (#24)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:23:36 PM EST
    Good one from Althouse!  Very funny.

    My mother was livid! (5.00 / 3) (#20)
    by indy in sc on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:04:36 PM EST
    She was sooo mad at CJ Roberts. I tried hard not to laugh because she was really upset, but I tried to talk her down from her rage.  They were both nervous and they both flubbed a little.  It doesn't take away from the importance of the day.

    my favorite headline today (5.00 / 3) (#22)
    by Jlvngstn on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:19:20 PM EST
    Obama raises hand, lifts a nation.

    From What I Hear (5.00 / 2) (#25)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:25:10 PM EST
    It should read Obama lifts hand, raises the world.

    Everyone around the globe seems ecstatic over this..


    Bush raises finger. . . (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:26:03 PM EST
    ----'s nation.

    I liked this (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:31:09 PM EST
    Upon signing his first presidential proclamation:

    "I'm a lefty. Get used to it."

    lol (none / 0) (#31)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:34:33 PM EST
    "lefty" or "left-handed"? (none / 0) (#53)
    by shoephone on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:52:33 PM EST
    He's hardly the first left-handed prez we've had.

    Double Entendre (none / 0) (#55)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:08:31 PM EST
    Obviously not just referring to his dominant hand but playing on the political term lefty.

    The proper administration of the oath of office (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by MyLeftMind on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:28:44 PM EST
    is the responsibility of the person giving the oath. Roberts should have been deliberate and authoritative, speaking in measured, unrushed phrases.  It was his job to see that the oath is given and taken correctly.  Whether from nervousness or as payback for Obama's vote against his nomination to Supreme Court in 2005, the Chief Justice did, in fact, ruin it for President Obama. He even called Obama Senator instead of President (he was Prez as of noon today, before the oath of office was even performed). There's no way to prove Roberts changed it on purpose, but he clearly added the words "So help me God" at the end.  Nervous or not, it was inappropriate to force his magic sky being/vengeful deity onto a constitutionally defined oath of office.  Look what happened since our country changed paper currency in 1957 to say "In God We Trust."  Now desperate Christians scream about their god being the foundation of our country's values.  Freedom of oppression is the basis, not their god and their biblical traditions of misogyny, rape, slavery, witch burning and religious totalitarianism in general.  

    Obama's pause after Robert's "execute... faithfully" mistake seems like he was giving Roberts a moment to try again to say it correctly.  Roberts didn't fix it, and now it's history.  Maybe it's all a mistake, but I just didn't like the look in his eye while he was screwing it up.  

    As a matter of honor Roberts ought to immediately issue an apology to assume responsibility for his error and restore his integrity.  They should simply repeat the oath of office today, in public.  Even if they have to joke about ensuring that it goes more smoothly and accurately.  Otherwise, expect to see our new president belittled with emails, blogs and right wing pundits saying Obama messed up right from the very start, as if he was the one who couldn't perform the oath correctly.  

    According to this... (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:48:41 PM EST
    ...the God part goes back a long way...

    Roberts added the words "so help me God" to the end of the constitutional oath, following a practice established by George Washington and followed by most presidents. And Obama repeated the phrase.

    While there's not much detail, the story goes on to say that...

    Later, as he and Obama chatted briefly before lunch in the Capitol, Roberts appeared to take responsibility for the error.

    Obama notified him days ago that he would (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:55:57 PM EST
    add the 'so help me god'.  Roberts did screw up the oath, but that last part was not something forced on Obama

    It doesn't matter. (5.00 / 2) (#30)
    by wurman on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:31:41 PM EST
    The president-elect becomes President of the United States of America at noon.

    Amendment 20 - Presidential, Congressional Terms. Ratified 1/23/1933.

    1. The terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January, and the terms of Senators and Representatives at noon on the 3d day of January, of the years in which such terms would have ended if this article had not been ratified; and the terms of their successors shall then begin.

    [My emphases]
    Prophets & seers back in 1931 & 1932 must have foreseen the silliness of rightwingnutz to become prominent in the future.

    And there is no requirement that the Chief Justice administer the oath.

    But it goes on to say (none / 0) (#68)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:58:31 PM EST
    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."

    So even if his term has started at noon, he cannot do any presidential duties until he takes the oath.


    What's your point? (none / 0) (#73)
    by wurman on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 11:59:22 PM EST
    My point is that the botch by Roberts is/was meaningless.  Pres. Obama can have it done again, and again, and again.  He's still the prez.

    By a justice of the peace.  Maybe by a ship's captain?  Maybe by Joe Biden?

    I was making a joke out of the statement that the rightwingnutz might become inflamed over the botch.


    Actually (none / 0) (#75)
    by jbindc on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 09:19:42 AM EST
    Constitutional scholars disagree with you:


    Lawyers said Obama and his supporters need not be worried about the legitimacy of his presidency, but they also said a do-over couldn't hurt. Charles Cooper, head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel under President Ronald Reagan, said that the oath is mandatory, that an incorrect recitation should be fixed and that he would be surprised if the oath had not already been re-administered.

    Akhil Reed Amar, a Yale University professor of constitutional law, said, "Out of a super-abundance of caution, perhaps he should do it again."

    Jonathan Turley, a professor of constitutional law at George Washington University, was hosting an inauguration party at his McLean home yesterday and did a mock swearing-in of 35 children. When Roberts erred, one child shouted: "That's not right!"

    "He should probably go ahead and take the oath again," Turley said. "If he doesn't, there are going to be people who for the next four years are going to argue that he didn't meet the constitutional standard. I don't think it's necessary, and it's not a constitutional crisis. This is the chief justice's version of a wardrobe malfunction."

    It's hard to tell who tripped first (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:27:52 PM EST
    but Roberts did not recover well, and it sure looked like his fault.

    I thought that you state your name and then (none / 0) (#2)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:31:55 PM EST
    usually pause for the next line in most of these oath thingies.

    Oh well, I watched a couple get married in France where the priest called the groom the wrong name throughout the entire ceremony.  The couple were about 20 years old and thus so were most of their respective friends who attended.  No one in attendence in the bride and groom's age group could contain their laughter.


    Don't they say that's good luck? (5.00 / 4) (#4)
    by andgarden on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:34:10 PM EST
    Let that be the biggest problem of this Presidency. . .

    I,state your name, (5.00 / 0) (#7)
    by DaveOinSF on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:42:05 PM EST
    When Stevens administered it to Biden, they included "do solemny swear" before the first pause.  Roberts was about to do the same but Obama cut him off.

    Audio of Clinton's Oath of Office (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by sumac on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:55:09 PM EST
    ..has the "solemnly swear" part before the break.


    Seems like an honest mistake on Obama's part. Who wouldn't be nervous on such a big occasion?


    Heh (none / 0) (#42)
    by daring grace on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:55:54 PM EST
    Good one.

    But I think Roberts paused too soon (none / 0) (#57)
    by sallywally on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:26:55 PM EST
    right after saying Obama's name, then interrupted Obama in the middle of repeating what Roberts had said.

    Then Roberts spoke the next line wrong, and Obama, I think, had a moment of "do I say it right or do I say it how he said it?"

    Roberts then said it correctly but Obama said it the way Roberts had said it first.

    The errors were Roberts's. Too bad he didn't memorize the oath like Obama did.


    Yeah, but in Junior's 2005 (none / 0) (#58)
    by brodie on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:32:24 PM EST
    oath, the first pause was after the name and before the "do solemnly swear".  

    In 1960, the most replayed swearing-in of modern times, and a very smooth one, CJ Warren didn't pause the first time until after the name and the "solemnly swear" part.

    In 1965, Warren broke up the oath more with a few added pauses, with a very uneven result, though not nearly as botched as Roberts today.

    Obviously, a mistake was made in not having this little dance scripted ahead of time.  Would have taken all of a few minutes to make sure both sides knew what was going to be the plan on exactly how it would be administered.  Of course, Roberts himself, with the memory lapse or the deliberate flub or whatever, was entirely responsible for his own major screwup.

    As it turned out, for this stickler for details political observer anyway, the speech itself was somewhat tainted by what errors had just occurred.

    I can't be sure, but I suspect letting Rick Warren speak probably brought some negative karma to the proceedings and likely helped create the conditions for the Obama-Roberts fumble.


    Hoover over Stevens on this one (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:47:45 PM EST
    Speaking of screwed-up wedding rites (none / 0) (#33)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:43:20 PM EST
    the now-ex (note: foreshadowing here:-) and I were so out of it that we missed the minister's flub at the end of our ceremony, so the best man had to tell us this is what the minister said:

    What God hath torn asunder, let no man put together.

    As I said, foreshadowing -- although not for almost fifteen years under God tore us asunder.


    That's hilarious (5.00 / 2) (#59)
    by BernieO on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:56:27 PM EST
    You could have made money on America's Funniest Home Video with that one.

    Go Figure... (none / 0) (#5)
    by JThomas on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:36:00 PM EST
    the Chief Justice gets stage fright...in the one occasion that he has the world stage.
    Kind of funny really, it is like something I would do. John Roberts should have been swearing in Bush in 04 with that malaprop and they could have had a fool me once moment between the two.

    Well, if I looked as much like (none / 0) (#3)
    by scribe on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:33:46 PM EST
    Greg Marmalard as Roberts does, I wouldn't have watched Animal House and thereby would not have known about "I, state your name".  Seeing how the finale expounds on Greggy's future after working in the Nixon White House and all.

    Did Roberts trivualize his duty? (none / 0) (#13)
    by Saul on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:51:09 PM EST
    I could not help but feel that Roberts heart was not in this.  He seemed like he wanted to rush it and get it over with.  Maybe purposely trying to trip up Obama.  

    I believe Obama did not vote for Roberts if I am not mistaken.

    Paranoid, aren't we???? (5.00 / 0) (#34)
    by bocajeff on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:44:07 PM EST
    He Voted Nay for Roberts (none / 0) (#15)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:55:07 PM EST
    What you recall (none / 0) (#35)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:44:44 PM EST
    just so you don't think you're losing it, is that Obama was going to vote for Roberts until the last minute, when Obama's aides persuaded him that it could be a bad political move that would come back to haunt him.  So he switched to voting against.

    That Is What I Call Responsive (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:54:58 PM EST
    A good pol listens to his or her constituents and acts accordingly, even if it means changing his or her mind.

    But you seem to imply that you prefer Bush's bubble mentality succinctly summed up by Colbert:

    He believes the same thing Wednesday that he believed on Monday, no matter what happened Tuesday.

    Heh (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Steve M on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 06:15:15 PM EST
    Is this the same defense you offer on behalf of Democrats who voted for the war?  Hey, if they supported it for crassly political reasons, good for them for being so responsive to the electorate?

    Was going to vote for him? (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:57:52 PM EST
    Doesn't sound like he was very tempted to vote for him with an assessment like this:

    The problem I had is that when I examined Judge Roberts' record and history of public service, it is my personal estimation that he has far more often used his formidable skills on behalf of the strong in opposition to the weak. In his work in the White House and the Solicitor General's Office, he seemed to have consistently sided with those who were dismissive of efforts to eradicate the remnants of racial discrimination in our political process. In these same positions, he seemed dismissive of the concerns that it is harder to make it in this world and in this economy when you are a woman rather than a man.

    Rather strong words if it was really a close call. I'd say today was payback from Roberts.


    Yes, this was his switched stance (none / 0) (#54)
    by Cream City on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:59:34 PM EST
    but you can check archives here for what Obama said before that.

    Now you're playing WORM (none / 0) (#63)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:31:48 PM EST
    What he actually said was that Roberts was qualified and that people shouldn't bash Leahy and Feingold for voting for him. It's WORMing of the highest order to turn that into he was going to vote for him too but caved at the last moment for the crassest of political motives. No actual evidence that he ever "switched stance" on it.

    Actually, Barack was (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by caseyOR on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:50:34 PM EST
    all set to vote for Roberts until his chief of staff pointed out that doing so just might hurt Obama's political future. This was all discussed during the primary. It is no secret, and CC is not WORMing this.

    I'm kind of surprised you don't know this given how often it was discussed.


    It was part of (none / 0) (#69)
    by Alien Abductee on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 08:05:15 PM EST
    his discussion with his advisors but there was never any indication that he had decided to vote for him. "Thinking about" is not "going to." Lots of things get discussed from multiple angles before decisions are reached. And lots of things were discussed during the primary in ways that were, um, less than unbiased.

    Yes (none / 0) (#71)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 08:59:40 PM EST
    The vote is what counts. The rest is someone's story.

    Obama seemed a bit nervous...... (none / 0) (#14)
    by rise hillary rise on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:52:47 PM EST
    but Roberts messed up. truly.

    Obama should retake the oath on video... (none / 0) (#19)
    by Key on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 03:57:07 PM EST
    He should retake the oath on video, today, with witnesses, given by Justice Roberts, before he does anything in an official capacity.....  just to shut down the BS and clarify to everyone that he's the man.

    I know, I know.  Why even entertain such a thought.  Because somewhere, someone, will file a BS lawsuit about this and eat up tax payer dollars and media cycles on this crap.

    So just shut all that down now....

    Just give them a copy of the (5.00 / 1) (#61)
    by denise k on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:04:40 PM EST
    Constitution.  That would shut them up if they had the ability to read it...

    No big deal (none / 0) (#21)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:07:43 PM EST
    Obama messed up too in his speech (as I mentioned in  another thread) where he mentioned that 44 Americans have taken the oath of office.

    No biggie.

    He was (none / 0) (#45)
    by call me Ishmael on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:08:36 PM EST
    including himself.  why is that messing up?

    Isn't 44 right! (none / 0) (#49)
    by Erehwon on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:16:54 PM EST
    I assume we can count him as one of the 44, right? :-)

    Or am I missing something? Or rather, someone?


    He said (none / 0) (#51)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:30:53 PM EST
    "44 Americans" there have only been 43 - Cleveland was both the 22nd and 24th POTUS.

    Thanks (5.00 / 0) (#72)
    by Erehwon on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 10:15:50 PM EST
    for the correction (and history lesson)!

    Can We Fire Roberts For This? (none / 0) (#28)
    by squeaky on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:30:19 PM EST
    Seems only just.

    Guantanamo at least. n/t (none / 0) (#47)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:13:53 PM EST
    Every President-elect (none / 0) (#38)
    by zaladonis on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:49:08 PM EST
    has repeated, "I, ___, do solemnly swear" without cutting in on the Chief Justice -- at least as far back as JFK, they're all on YouTube.

    It wasn't Roberts who messed it up at the beginning.

    And, interestingly, after Roberts corrected the next line Obama repeated that one  wrong.

    No big deal; it is what it is.

    Dude (5.00 / 3) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 04:54:47 PM EST
    It is snark.

    I am citing Animal House as precedent. You could not believe I was serious I hope.


    Well (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:03:49 PM EST
    Tim Matheson DID play the VP on "The West Wing"

    A speech to remember (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:09:54 PM EST
    "Otter: Ladies and gentlemen, I'll be brief. The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules or took a few liberties with our female party guests -- we did. But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few sick, perverted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg ... isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do what you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America! Gentlemen!"

    I prefer (none / 0) (#52)
    by jbindc on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:33:29 PM EST
    D-Day (Bruce McGill): War's over, man. Wormer dropped the big one.

    Bluto: Over? Did you say "over"? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!

    Otter (Tim Matheson): [whispering] Germans?

    Boon (Peter Riegert): Forget it, he's rolling.

    Bluto: And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough... [thinks hard] the tough get goin'! Who's with me? Let's go! [runs out, alone; then returns] What the f**k happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my a$$ from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer -

    Otter: Dead! Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these ba$tards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part.

    Bluto: We're just the guys to do it.

    D-Day: Let's do it.

    Bluto: LET'S DO IT!


    No, BTD (none / 0) (#48)
    by zaladonis on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:15:48 PM EST
    I didn't think you were serious.

    But I can sometimes be too serious, myself, about information.



    And the moral of the story is... (none / 0) (#50)
    by Jen M on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 05:27:48 PM EST
    have a cheat sheet when you speak in public. No matter how used to it you are.

    Preachers do.

    Good suggestion (none / 0) (#60)
    by denise k on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:02:06 PM EST
    When I first heard it, I thought Roberts deliberately screwed it up, but upon looking at it a second time, I think he just flubbed it.  A cheat sheet would have stood him in good stead.

    You thought of Animal House (none / 0) (#62)
    by akaEloise on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 07:05:17 PM EST
    I thought of Four Weddings and a Funeral.  "Do you take Lydia to be your awful wedded wife?"

    Renquist's mistake was worse (none / 0) (#70)
    by ruffian on Tue Jan 20, 2009 at 08:32:09 PM EST
    At least Roberts didn't appoint the wrong guy president. I'm inclined to let this one mistake go.

    Fyi, that's Rehnquist . . . (none / 0) (#74)
    by Cream City on Wed Jan 21, 2009 at 01:15:32 AM EST
    as well I know, as my kids and I used to rent the flat where he grew up -- I wrote to confirm the neighborhood story and actually got a nice letter in reply from him, SCOTUS seal and all.  He told us which room had been his, which was my son's, who thought that was very cool and took the letter to school.  We since donated it to the village's historical society.

    But also fyi, when he came back not that long ago, while Chief Justice, and the school board decided to honor him -- the kids at the high school, where my daughter was by then, raised such a ruckus that the big ceremony became a big nothing.  And she joined her folks on the picket line, with us wearing our favorite t-shirts from lawyers in the family.

    We dissed him with the t-shirt message "I Dissent."