News Column

Sotomayor Will Be First Hispanic to Administer an Oath of Office

Jan 4, 2013

Rebecca Villaneda--HispanicBusiness

President Obama with Sonia Sotomayor.

Vice President Joe Biden has personally selected Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the U.S. Sonia Sotomayor to swear him into office.

Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic and the fourth female judge to administer an oath of office, according to the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC).

"It's an incredible honor to have Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor swear me in," Biden said in a statement. "From the first time I met her, I was impressed by Justice Sotomayor's commitment to justice and opportunity for all Americans, and she continues to exemplify those values today. Above all, I'm happy for the chance to be sworn in by a friend and someone I know will continue to do great things."

Obama chose U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Roberts to issue his oath of office. The inauguration will take place on Sunday, Jan. 20, followed by a public ceremony on Monday, Jan. 21 on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.

Related Story: "113th Congress Is Most Diverse Yet; Hispanics Make Gains"

The first Congress passed an oath act on June 1, 1789, authorizing only senators to administer the oath to the vice president, however, later that year, legislation passed that allowed courts to administer all oaths and affirmations, according to Inaugural.Senate.Gov. The present oath repeated by the Vice President of the United States, senators, representatives, and other government officers has been in use since 1884.

It reads: "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

The three women who have previously sworn-in presidents and vice presidents were Judge Sarah T. Hughes, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Vice President Al Gore in 1997), according to the PIC.

Sotomayor is the Court's first Hispanic justice and its third female justice.

Source: (c) 2013. All rights reserved.

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