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A conversation at the fireplace

Photos of the Obama-Biden visit to the Court can be found on the site of the President-elect’s transition team, at this link.


 With a fireplace warming the Supreme Court’s West Conference Room, President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect Biden had a conversation with most of the members of the Supreme Court on Wednesday afternoon.  The two new leaders of the Executive Branch, eight members of the Court, and three aides talked as they sat at the fireplace for about 40 minutes, according to accounts relayed to the Court’s public information officer, Kathleen L. Arberg.

Before sitting down, the two newly elected officials signed the Court’s guest book as they stood in front of a portrait of Chief Justice William Howard Taft.  “Light refreshments” were served. Afterward, Obama and Biden were escorted on a tour of the Courtroom and the Justices’ private Conference Room.  Ms. Arberg had no word on what was discussed during the encounter.

They left by way of an internal stairway, to cheers of Court employees, and departed through a basement garage.

The only member of the Court not on hand was Justice Samuel A. Alito, Jr.  There was no immediate explanation for his absence from an event that Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., had said was hoped to be part of a continuing “congenial tradition.”