28 USC § 453
Oaths of justices and judges
through Pub. L. 116-282, except Pub. L. 116-260

Each justice or judge of the United States shall take the following oath or affirmation before performing the duties of his office: "I, ______ XXX, 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 upon me as ______ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God."

Historical and Revision Notes

Based on title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., §§241, 372, and District of Columbia Code, 1940 ed., §§11–203, 11–303 (R.S.D.C., §752, 18 Stat. pt. II, 90; Feb. 9, 1893, ch. 74, §3, 27 Stat. 435; Mar. 3, 1901, ch. 854, §223, 31 Stat. 1224; Mar. 3, 1911, ch. 231, §§136, 137, 257, 36 Stat. 1135, 1161; Feb. 25, 1919, ch. 29, §4, 40 Stat. 1157).

This section consolidates sections 11–203 and 11–303 of District of Columbia Code, 1940 ed., and section 372 of title 28, U.S.C., 1940 ed., with that portion of section 241 of said title 28 providing that judges of the Court of Claims shall take an oath of office. The remainder of said section 241 comprises sections 171 and 173 of this title.

The phrase "justice or judge of the United States" was substituted for "justices of the Supreme Court, the circuit judges, and the district judges" appearing in said section 372, in order to extend the provisions of this section to judges of the Court of Claims, Customs Court, and Court of Customs and Patent Appeals and to all judges of any court which may be created by enactment of Congress. See definition in section 451 of this title.

The Attorney General has ruled that the expression "any judge of any court of the United States" applied to the Chief Justice and all judges of the Court of Claims. (21 Op. Atty. Gen. 449.)

Editorial Notes


1990—Pub. L. 101–650 substituted "under the Constitution" for "according to the best of my abilities and understanding, agreeably to the Constitution".

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries

Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 101–650 effective 90 days after Dec. 1, 1990, see section 407 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 332 of this title.

Tried the LawStack mobile app?

Join thousands and try LawStack mobile for FREE today.

  • Carry the law offline, wherever you go.
  • Download CFR, USC, rules, and state law to your mobile device.