Obama's Visit To The Supreme Court

(AP)
Chief Justice John Roberts and all of the associate justices – with the exception of Justice Samuel Alito – attended an hour-long meeting with President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden this afternoon.

No explanation for the absence of Alito, who was in court this morning for arguments.

Kathleen Arberg, the Supreme Court public information officer, told CBS News' Deirdre Hester that Mr. Obama and Biden met with the justices in the West Conference Room, where they shared tea, coffee and light refreshments.

The president- and vice president-elect signed a guest book resting on a 19th century wooden writing desk in the conference room that is positioned in front of a portrait of former President and Supreme Court Justice William Howard Taft. The group then sat in high back chairs arranged around the fireplace.

Arberg declined to characterize the subsequent conversation.

Before leaving, Mr. Obama and Biden toured the courtroom and the justices' conference room. They did not visit the court gym or other areas of the courthouse.

Excited Supreme Court staffers who caught a glimpse of Mr. Obama descending the staircase on his way out erupted in cheers as he passed, Hester reports. When Mr. Obama heard the noise he doubled back to give the assembled crowd a big wave.

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