Ah, the drama of the oath–unnecessary it seems to me. But, there is one small lesson to learn here (for all of us). Justice Roberts, it’s OK to use notes.
It appears the gaffe may be the result of Roberts not using notes. Roberts, I’m sure is a brilliant guy–no doubt. But, there are certain moments where it’s OK not to rely on one’s mind–brilliant or not. A small card with the oath on it would have remedied the whole problem.
When you find yourself in a situation professionally that is going to tax your nerves, be a bit redundant in your preparation and give yourself extra support in that moment. It’s one thing to practice the oath in front of the mirror; it’s another to administer it in front of two million people live and who knows how many via media. There are certain moments that are big enough for extra support. This was one of them.