The Supreme Court has just announced that President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden will pay a private courtesy call on the Court Wednesday afternoon.
They are following a recent tradition of such visits when the White House changes hands. Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton also visited the Court in the period before they were inaugurated.
The visit has been rumored inside and outside the Court for weeks, but was not confirmed until tonight. The Court is in session Wednesday morning and ordinarily holds a private conference Wednesday afternoon. The precise time of the visit was not announced.
Here is the text of the Court's announcement:
"At the invitation of Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden will pay a pre-inaugural visit to the Supreme Court of the United States tomorrow afternoon, January 14. This will mark the third time in recent history that a President-elect and Vice President-elect have visited the Court. William Clinton and Al Gore visited on December 8, 1992. Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush called on the Court on November 19, 1980. The President-elect and Vice President-elect will join the Chief Justice and the Associate Justices in the ceremonial West Conference Room. They may also join in a tour of the Court. The visit is a private event. There will be no photo or press availabilities."
The 1992 visit by Bill Clinton and Al Gore was quite public and memorable. The late justice Harry Blackmun later joked that he felt he was being looked over to determine his health, but it appeared to be an amicable event.