How quickly do Supreme Court Nominees get sworn in?

CNN reports Kavanaugh has the votes. That’s assuming no one changes their mind in the next 24 hours.


What is the swearing in process for the Supreme Court? Does the chief justice do it? Or maybe the VP? The President?

Is it immediately after the Senate votes?

Will he be on the bench by Monday?

I’m assuming his first day will be met with demonstrations.

He could be on the bench by Monday. Assuming he’s sobered up by then.

Monday is Columbus Day. But yes, essentially he can be sworn in any time after the vote.

I can’t recall seeing a Justice sworn in.

I’m sure it’s covered by the news, but I never happened to see it.

This time it’ll be front page news for a few days.

There are two oaths of office administered. The constitutional oath and the judicial oath. Traditionally the Chief Justice administers the constitutional oath. I believe that the Chief Justice also typically administers the judicial oath (although Kennedy administered it to Gorsuch who had been his law clerk).

After the Senate confirms a judge, the President must issue a “commission” which he signs and then is countersigned by the Attorney General. See here. The commission is then presented to and accepted by the Court. (Although, I don’t think it can be rejected, the judge becomes a judge when the commission is signed). And then the judge can be sworn in.

I don’t know what timeframe is standard. But Gorsuch was confirmed on April 7. His commission was dated April 8 and he was sworn in on April 10. So, he could probably be on the bench by Tuesday.

ETA: Kagan was confirmed on August 5 and sworn in on August 7.

Thank you Falchion.

Good information at that link.

Gorsuch was sworn in on Monday, April 10th after the confirmation vote on Friday the 7th. He had a private ceremony with the oath administered by the Chief Justice that met the requirements. It was followed by a public swearing in by Trump in the Rose Garden; Kennedy administered the additional oath that justices take at that ceremony. (Cite)

There is an interim step between the vote and oath. The President has to formally apoint the Justice after the Senate has consented. (Cite) That cite also looks at how the separate oaths took hold and changing traditions. Early on, many Justices were sworn in by someone in their home state after appointment since they started their duties with the regional circuit courts before heading to DC. The first oath ceremony at the White House wasn’t until 1940 and there’ve been some changes in traditions since then.

I’d never given any thought to how Justices are sworn in after the Senate confirmation.

It’s about time that I learned. :wink:

Supreme Court vacancies usually doesn’t happen very often. The court’s had several justices retire and one die. So we’re getting more replacements than usual.

So, has someone already poached Kennedy’s window office? :smiley:

Sorry Brett the new guy gets a view of a cinderblock wall. :wink:

That’s how it works at my employer. Always a mad dash to grab the best empty office.

Granted that almost anyone can do it, but who traditionally does the swearing-in for a new Chief Justice?

The recent tradition looks like either the outgoing chief justice or, if he’s dead, the most senior associate justice.

An interesting case in this regard is that of Clarence Thomas. He was confirmed on October 15, 1991, but it appeared as if his swearing in would be delayed because the wife of Chief Justice Rehnquist died on October 17. Thomas requested the delay to be reduced so he could take up office as soon as possible, and he was sworn in on October 19.

FoxNews reporting that Kavanaugh to be sworn in later today so he can begin work Tuesday (Monday is a holiday).

Also has shown video of two black SUVs leaving Kavanaugh’s house. Destination unknown.

Yes. Washington Post, Kavanaugh to be sworn in later Saturday by Chief Justice John Roberts and retired Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.

Beer run.

Sworn in hours after the vote. That is quick.

I guess Brett will be there Sunday moving into his new office and unpacking.

I’ve always organized my desk and workspace the same way at a new job.

There’s also the Interviewing of Law Clerks and getting them used to Protocol.

“The junior justice has to answer the door.”

I enjoyed the article and the challenges the new guy on the court faces.

I’m sure Gorsuch will be very happy to turn over the cafeteria committee to Brett. :wink:

I’m glad to hear that one of the justices will mentor the new guy.