WASHINGTON (CNN) – Continuing a growing tradition between incoming chief executives and the chief justice of the highest court in the land, President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden will visit the Supreme Court Wednesday afternoon.
The two will visit the high court in response to an invitation from Chief Justice John Roberts, who noted in a December 5 letter to Obama, a former constitutional law professor, that previous presidents-elect had visited the
Supreme Court before taking office as a courtesy "so that colleagues in public
service might become better acquainted."
"The Associate Justices and I would be pleased to see that sporadic practice become a congenial tradition," said Roberts. "You will receive a warm welcome."
Both Obama and Biden - while serving in the Senate - voted against Roberts as chief justice in 2005 and Justice Samuel Alito in early 2006.
Roberts will administer the presidential oath of office to Obama on January 20. Justice John Paul Stevens - the oldest member of the high court - will administer the vice presidential oath to Biden.
This is the third time in recent history, according to the Obama transition team, that a president-elect and vice president-elect have visited the Supreme Court. Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush visited the high court in November 1980. Bill Clinton and Al Gore visited the court in December 1992.
The previous meetings, however, were held at the suggestion of the incoming president. Roberts' personal invitation represents a change in that precedent.