There are many rituals and traditions that go along with a presidential address to Congress. Among them, the Supreme Court Justices never cheer, jeer, or react to anything said by the president. They do this in an effort to appear neutral of all things politics.
So it is extremely rare to see them move a muscle. Aside from Ruth Bader Ginsburg getting drunk and falling asleep, they rarely have much of a reaction to anything.
But on Tuesday, the Justices not only applauded, they rose to their feet in a standing ovation.
The first instance was around 20 minutes into the speech when Trump called attention to the widow of former Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump called Scalia someone who “will forever be a symbol of American justice.”
Justices never clap, let alone stand, during speeches to joint session, but they did for my mom. Beautiful. pic.twitter.com/JYDNzBtOdE
— Christopher J Scalia (@cjscalia) March 1, 2017
The next moment was during the recognition of Carryn Owens, the widow of slain Navy SEAL Ryan Owens. It was easily the most emotional moment of the night and everyone, except some Democrats, stood and applauded Owens:
It was truly a moment that will be remembered for years.