Breyer Sworn In as High Court Justice in a Private Ceremony
Stephen G. Breyer was sworn in as the nation’s 108th Supreme Court justice Wednesday at a private ceremony at Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist’s Vermont summer home.
Breyer’s wife, Joanna, was the only witness at the swearing-in, conducted by Rehnquist, court spokeswoman Toni House said.
Breyer replaces Justice Harry A. Blackmun, whose retirement took effect when Breyer took the two oaths required by the Constitution and the Judiciary Act of 1789.
A public swearing-in ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 11 at the White House, but House said Breyer decided that he wanted to begin work and hire his law clerks as soon as possible. He also wanted the chief justice to administer the oaths, House said.
The high court also is likely to hold a public investiture ceremony for Breyer in its stately courtroom several days before the fall term opens on Oct. 3, House said.
Breyer is President Clinton’s second high court appointee; Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined the court last year.
Breyer, 55, a longtime federal appellate judge, was confirmed by the Senate on a vote of 87 to 9, last Friday.
Senators from both parties praised him as a man of high qualifications and integrity, as well as a practical problem-solver who addresses issues with a non-ideological approach.
In replacing Blackmun, the generally conservative court’s most liberal member, Breyer is expected to find a home among the moderate justices.