The ceremony was held in the East Courtroom, and Barrett was seen in a photo shared by the court with her right and left hand raised on a family Bible that her husband Jesse carried during the swearing-in.
All of the Supreme Court justices participated in the ceremony except for Judge Stephen Breyer, who listened on the phone from his home in Cambridge and felt it was safest to almost avoid traveling and attending, according to court media official Cathy Arberg.
The court said all of those present were wearing masks and observing an appropriate social distance for the ceremony. Barrett’s children did not attend.
At the White House on Monday, Barrett said in a speech that it was “a privilege to be asked to serve my country” and highlighted the “separation of duty from political preference.”
“My fellow Americans, even though we are judges not facing elections, we are still working for you. It is your constitution that establishes the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary that is so central to it,” she said. “The oath I officially took tonight basically means that I will do my job without any fear or preference, and that I will do so independently of the political branches and my own preferences.”
Request a response on the first day
The Supreme Court is currently considering an application from Pennsylvania Republicans asking judges to block a state Supreme Court decision that allowed the counting of ballots received three days after the election, even if there is no legible postmark. Lucerne County – whose attorneys wrote the memo – supports the state court’s decision.
The attorneys acknowledged that their call “comes at an inappropriate time for Judge Barrett, and this is her first day as an Associate Judge.”
But they said they needed to move quickly because her participation would be “disastrous on the delicate basis of integrity and public confidence upon which the judiciary rests.”
“The current issue is one of the most important in the president’s attempt for re-election,” they wrote. “Just as President Trump has placed Judge Barrett in the Supreme Court with whatever hope or expectation he may have, he has also imposed on her a duty to stand down in this case. Her impartiality and fairness in this court cannot tolerate any other option.”
This story has been updated with details of the rejection request.
CNN’s Megan Vazquez and Joan Biscoubek contributed to this report.
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