U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts says he’s gone “back and forth” on whether justices should attend the State of the Union address.

 Roberts told some Belmont University law students and prominent lawyers Wednesday that the president’s annual speech to Congress is an important civic ceremony. Roberts himself has attended each State of the Union while on the court, including Tuesday night.

He also said the event is a political pep rally. He said justices have to decide when to stand, picking non-polarizing moments like recognizing a hero or the military. He said other groups, like the joint chiefs of staff, face the same challenge.

Roberts’ discussion was led by Belmont law school dean Alberto Gonzalez, a former attorney general under President George W. Bush, who nominated Roberts.

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, left, Associate Justices Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch, right, stand in the House chamber before President Donald Trump gave his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress, Tuesday, Feb. (Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, left, Associate Justices Elena Kagan and Neil Gorsuch, right, stand in the House chamber before President Donald Trump gave his State of the Union speech to a joint session of Congress, Tuesday, Feb. (Doug Mills/The New York Times via AP, Pool)
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, after delivering his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, after delivering his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts answers questions during an appearance at Belmont University Wednesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts answers questions during an appearance at Belmont University Wednesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, right, takes part in a forum with Belmont University Law Dean Alberto Gonzales, left, at Belmont University Wednesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts, right, takes part in a forum with Belmont University Law Dean Alberto Gonzales, left, at Belmont University Wednesday, Feb. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)