Today's courtesy call at the Supreme Court by President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joseph Biden was the result of a friendly written invitation to Obama from Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. dated Dec. 5. The warm tone of Roberts' letter, obtained from the Court, is notable, given that both Obama and Biden voted against Roberts' confirmation not that long ago. Here's the text:
Dear Mr. President-elect:
Through the years, our respective predecessors have occasionally arranged a pre-inaugural meeting between the President-elect and the Members of the Supreme Court, 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. We cordially invite you and Vice President-elect Biden to visit us at the Supreme Court.
If your schedule permits such a visit, you will receive a warm welcome from the Members of the Court as you prepare to undertake your important responsibilities on behalf of the American people.
With best wishes, I am
John Roberts Jr. (signature)