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Transcript: Chertoff Swearing-In Ceremony

FDCH E-Media
Thursday, March 3, 2005; 12:23 PM

Text of the remarks made at the swearing-in ceremony for Michael Chertoff as secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

O'CONNOR: It's an honor to administer the public oath of office to Michael Chertoff as our nation's second secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.

We are really fortunate that this remarkable man is willing to take on one of the toughest jobs in our nation. Secretary Chertoff is a star. He was a magna cum laude graduate of Harvard, as well as of the Harvard Law School. We'll forgive him for that, I guess.

(LAUGHTER)

He was a law clerk to my former colleague Justice William Brennan. He was a federal prosecutor, U.S. attorney in the District of New Jersey. He handled any number of very important cases in the U.S. Attorney's Office.

He was special counsel for the U.S. Senate Whitewater Commission. He was a partner in the Latham & Watkins law firm.

Importantly, he served as assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division in the Department of Justice, and he helped our nation's response to 9/11.

More recently, he's been serving as U.S. circuit judge for the Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. He's given up a lifetime position as an underpaid, underappreciated federal court of appeals judge...

(LAUGHTER)

(APPLAUSE)

He's given that up for an underpaid, untenured position...

(LAUGHTER)

... in this most difficult new post.

As a citizen, I am grateful that Secretary Chertoff said, yes.

He's married to Meryl. They have two children. They're here today and standing by for the oath of office.

Congratulations and, more importantly, good luck.

(APPLAUSE)

Raise your right hand, please and repeat after me.

I, Michael Chertoff...

CHERTOFF: I, Michael Chertoff...

O'CONNOR: ... do solemnly swear...

CHERTOFF: ... do solemnly swear...

O'CONNOR: ... that I will support and defend...

CHERTOFF: ... that I will support and defend...

O'CONNOR: ... the Constitution of the United States...

CHERTOFF: ... the Constitution of the United States...


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