WASHINGTON — SUPREME Court Justice Stephen Breyer is pledging to work to enhance the public's trust in the nation's justice system, ``for it is the very foundation of the rule of law.''
Justice Breyer, guest of honor at a White House ceremony Friday, repeated the oath of office he took at Chief Justice William Rehnquist's vacation cottage Aug. 3 - the day Breyer officially became a justice.
After Justice Antonin Scalia, the senior high court member in Washington, administered the oath, Breyer told those assembled he would do his best to meet ``this awesome responsibility.''
``A court is not a bureaucracy and a judge is not a bureaucrat,'' he said.
Vice President Al Gore Jr., saying he did not want to sound partisan, did some of his own imploring for a better way to deal with ``the problem of violent crime.''
Breyer won't start giving full attention to his new job until next month but he already appears in sync with the cautious court he's joined.
``I've realized people are very interested in what I'm about to say, and I'd better not say anything very interesting,'' Breyer told an American Bar Association audience recently.
Still wrapping up his duties as chief judge of the Boston-based 1st United States Circuit Court of Appeals, Breyer worked out of Justice David Souter's offices in the Supreme Court's Capitol Hill building last week. Justice Souter is back home in Concord, N.H.
The court's 1994-95 term begins Oct. 3, but the nine justices will meet in conference the previous week.