(WASHINGTON) — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will swear in Vice President Joe Biden, becoming the first Hispanic person to administer an inaugural oath of office.
The news was announced Friday by the Presidential Inaugural Committee and is significant, given that only three other women have administered an inaugural oath. The most recent was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who swore in Vice President Al Gore in 1997. Sotomayor is also the first Hispanic person to serve on the Supreme Court.
“It’s an incredible honor to have Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor swear me in,” Biden said in a statement. “I believed strongly that she would make a great Justice, and it was one of the greatest pleasures of my career to be involved in her selection to the Court. 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.”
The selection of Sotomayor comes after an election in which Latino voters helped propel President Obama to victory. More than 70 percent of Latino voters backed Obama over GOP candidate Mitt Romney, and Hispanics made up 10 percent of the national electorate for the first time ever.
Referencing the election results, Biden called Latinos “the center of this nation’s future,” during a speech to the non-profit Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Thursday night.
The election, “let the world know, let the Republicans know, let others know that if you ignore the needs of the Hispanic people, you will not win,” he said.
Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to Obama. Both Obama and Biden will be officially sworn in during smaller, private ceremonies on Sunday, Jan. 20, and then participate in a ceremonial swearing-in on Monday, Jan. 21, in front of a large crowd outside the U.S. Capitol.
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