Roberts's selection hardly comes as a surprise — chief justices have customarily preformed the role, dating back to Oliver Ellsworth's swearing-in of President John Adams in 1797 — although it is not constitutionally mandated, and presidents are allowed to select who administers the oath. President Lyndon Johnson, for instance, took the oath from federal judge and family friend Sarah Hughes following President Kennedy's assassination in Dallas.


The swearing-in will provide something of a second chance for Roberts, who memorably flubbed the 35-word oath of office during the president's first inauguration. The chief justice, who said the word "faithfully" out of sequence, later went to the White House to again swear the president in.

During that ceremony, Roberts asked the president if he was ready to be sworn in for a second time, earning a snappy quip from Obama.

"I am, and we're going to do it very slowly," Obama said.