Youth, Ambition Will Meet Over Lincoln's Bible

Roberts to swear in the man who voted against his confirmation
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 20, 2009 10:24 AM CST
Barack Obama visits John Roberts at the Supreme Court, Jan. 14, 2009. The painting is of William Howard Taft, the only man to serve as President and Chief Justice of the US.   (Obama Transition Team)
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(Newser) – The first person to call Barack Obama “Mr President” will be John Roberts, appointed chief justice of the Supreme Court in 2005. Today marks the first inauguration for Roberts, who invited Obama to visit the Court last week; both are Harvard Law grads, ambitious men who attained the highest offices while still relatively young, the Washington Post reports—and taking differing political paths.

The conservative Roberts served as deputy solicitor general under Bush senior, then as an appellate judge. At 50, he became the second-youngest chief justice in history—but didn’t win the Senate vote of Obama, making Roberts the only chief justice to administer the oath to someone who voted against his confirmation. But as each puts a hand on Abraham Lincoln’s Bible, they will be performing a gesture both appreciate: showing goodwill between political opponents.