Supreme Court Rules, Practices, and Traditions
What was the original oath that federal judges had to take?
Section 8 of the Judiciary Act of 1789 provides that Supreme Court and district judges had to take the following oath:
I, [justice’s name], do solemnly swear or affirm, that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me as [type of judge] according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeable to the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.
The oath was amended in 1990 by replacing “according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeable to the Constitution” with the words “under the Constitution.”