Roberts takes over as chief justice ..YEAH!!!

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - John Roberts was installed on Monday as the nation's 17th chief justice in a special Supreme Court ceremony attended by President George W. Bush, family members and his high court colleagues.

During the four-minute special sitting, Justice John Paul Stevens, the court's most senior member, again administered the judicial oath that Roberts already took last week at a White House ceremony after the Senate confirmed him by a 78-22 vote.

"On behalf of all the members of the court, it is a pleasure to extend to you a warm welcome," Stevens told the smiling 50-year-old Roberts, who is the youngest chief justice in two centuries. Stevens wished Roberts "a long and happy career in our common calling."

Roberts, a conservative who had been a federal appeals judge the past two years, replaced his mentor, William Rehnquist, who died a month ago from thyroid cancer.

The ceremony was overshadowed by Bush announcement that he had selected White House counsel Harriet Miers to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, a moderate conservative who often casts the decisive vote on the closely divided court

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