The formal investiture of a Supreme Court justice is a merely ceremonial event, and after the fact for Justice Kavanaugh who has been on the bench from the beginning of the this term. But Thursday’s script was slightly different because of two events of the previous day, the resignation of AG Sessions, and Justice Ginsburg’s fall resulting in fractured ribs. As a result Justice Ginsburg was not present on the bench, and the new Acting AG, Matthew Whitaker was at the lectern.
Otherwise it was a packed house with most, if not all, of the DC Circuit present, including Judge Merrick Garland. A lot of US District judges too. And everyone else you would expect like Senators McConnell and Graham ( the later arriving and leaving with the president, further feeding speculation that he may become the next AG ), Kavanaugh’s parents, wife and daughters. POTUS and FLOTUS were the last to arrive and the first to leave.
My sketch of Justice Gorsuch’s investiture ceremony at the Supreme Court yesterday. President Trump and first lady Melania attended, seated between Justice Kennedy’s wife, Mary, and retired Justice Stevens (not shown). Also present but not shown in my sketch were several former Attorney Generals, members of the Senate Judiciary (but not Grassley), and the new justice’s wife and daughters.
Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is shown at the lectern holding a scroll, really a prop onto which were pasted the words of Gorsuch’s formal commission.
Wearing white gloves the Supreme Court curators brought in the chair once used by Chief Justice John Marshall and in which Justice Elena Kagan would sit as her official commission was presented to the Court by Attorney General Eric Holder Jr and read into the record.
President Obama was present to witness the ceremony as well as retired Justices Stevens, O’Connor and Souter (not pictured).
Also present among the many notables was former Attorney General John Ashcroft who was seen exchanging pleasantries with the present AG.
Tony Mauro reports here.