Vice President-elect Mike Pence will be part of history next Friday when he takes the oath of office.
Pence will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who will become the first black Supreme Court justice to ever swear in the president or vice president.
The chief justice of the Supreme Court has the duty of administering the oath of office to the incoming president, which means that next Friday, Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in President-elect Donald Trump.
However, the ritual of the inauguration allows the incoming vice president some latitude in who will administer the oath.
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In 2009, Vice President Joe Biden was sworn in by Justice John Paul Stevens. Justice Sonia Sotomayor did the honors for Biden in 2013.
Thomas, 68, is part of the Supreme Court’s four-member conservative wing. During a speech last month to the Federalist Society, he touched upon the crisis caused by judges attempting to legislate from the bench.
“Today it is the view of many that the Supreme Court is the giver of liberties — what an odd conception of governance that ‘We the People’ are dependent on the third branch of government to grant us our freedom,” Thomas said.
@dcexaminer 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌 Two of my favorite people!
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“With such unchecked judicial power, the court day-by-day, case-by-case, is busy designing the Constitution — as Justice [Antonin] Scalia once quipped — instead of interpreting it,” he added.
Thomas said the result is that judges go beyond the intent of the Founding Fathers.
“With such unchecked judicial power, we leave it for the least accountable branch to decide what newly discovered rights should be appended to our Constitution,” the justice said.
That’s a philosophy Pence has shared. In a 2010 speech as a congressman, he said, “The modern presidency has drifted far from the great strength and illumination of its source: the Constitution.”
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