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An interesting footnote to history:
In an historic first, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts used sign language from the Supreme Court bench on Tuesday as he welcomed a dozen deaf and hard-of-hearing lawyers who took part in a ceremony authorizing them to argue cases before the court. The 12 members of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association were sworn in as members of the Supreme Court bar. After they were presented to the court for admission, Roberts signed in American Sign Language: “Your motion is granted.”Membership in the Supreme Court bar allows a lawyer to argue cases before the justices but most of its members never actually do so. Roberts, appointed by Republican President George W. Bush in 2005, is believed to be the first U.S. chief justice to use sign language from the bench. It was also the first time members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association took part in a swearing-in ceremony at the court.