Entries in John Roberts (2)


Justice Sotomayor to Swear in Biden at Inauguration

Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will swear in Vice President Joe Biden, becoming the first Hispanic person to administer an inaugural oath of office.

The news was announced Friday by the Presidential Inaugural Committee and is significant, given that only three other women have administered an inaugural oath.  The most recent was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who swore in Vice President Al Gore in 1997.  Sotomayor is also the first Hispanic person to serve on the Supreme Court.

"It's an incredible honor to have Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor swear me in," Biden said in a statement.  "I believed strongly that she would make a great Justice, and it was one of the greatest pleasures of my career to be involved in her selection to the Court.  From the first time I met her, I was impressed by Justice Sotomayor's commitment to justice and opportunity for all Americans, and she continues to exemplify those values today."

The selection of Sotomayor comes after an election in which Latino voters helped propel President Obama to victory.  More than 70 percent of Latino voters backed Obama over GOP candidate Mitt Romney, and Hispanics made up 10 percent of the national electorate for the first time ever.

Referencing the election results, Biden called Latinos "the center of this nation's future," during a speech to the non-profit Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Thursday night.

The election, "let the world know, let the Republicans know, let others know that if you ignore the needs of the Hispanic people, you will not win," he said.

Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to Obama.  Both Obama and Biden will be officially sworn in during smaller, private ceremonies on Sunday, Jan. 20, and then participate in a ceremonial swearing-in on Monday, Jan. 21, in front of a large crowd outside the U.S. Capitol.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Chief Justice John Roberts Highlights ‘Fiscal Cliff’ in Year-End Report

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Acknowledging the “much publicized fiscal cliff” and the country’s “truly extravagant and burgeoning national debt,” Chief Justice John Roberts dedicated the majority of his annual year-end report to a summary of the efforts by the Judiciary Branch of government to contain costs.

In the report, which is traditionally released on the last day of the year, Roberts writes, “No one seriously doubts that the country’s fiscal ledger has gone awry,” and says the public will look to its “elected officials to craft a solution.”

“We in the Judiciary stand outside the political arena, but we continue to do our part to address the financial challenges in our sphere.”

In the report, Roberts writes, “The Judicial Branch continues to consume a miniscule portion of the federal budget.”

Roberts explains:

  • In fiscal year 2012 the judiciary (including the Supreme Court , other federal courts, and the Federal Judicial Center) received a total appropriation of $6.97 billion.
  • The judiciary branch is focused on three targets to reduce expenses: rent, personnel expenses and information technology.
  • The rates of pay for judicial support staff have stayed the same for the past three years. Every employee’s compensation is continuously reviewed to ensure that it is consistent with job responsibilities.
  • The judiciary is exploring the practice of sharing administrative services among court units within judicial districts.

But Roberts cautions that it will become increasingly difficult to economize further “without reducing the quality of judicial services.” He points out that unlike the executive branch agencies, the courts do not have discretionary programs that can be eliminated or postponed.

Also, as he has done in years past, Roberts urges the other branches of government to act quickly to nominate and confirm judges in order to fill judicial vacancies across the country.

Roberts concludes the report on a hopeful note: “We know from experience that our durable Constitution provides the framework needed for able hands to overcome any obstacle, consistent with the rule of law.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio