Sotomayor to give oath to Biden; Roberts to swear in Obama

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (AP)
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor (AP)

Vice President Biden has chosen Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to swear him in later this month, making her the fourth woman and first Hispanic to administer the presidential or vice-presidential oath.

President Obama will stick with tradition and be sworn in by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. The two stumbled through the ceremony four years ago, and had to take a do-over later to make sure constitutional standards were met.

The Presidential Inaugural Committee made the announcement Friday morning. The justices will administer the oaths to Obama and Biden twice, at the "private" swearing-in on the constitutionally mandated date of Sunday, Jan. 20, and again during the public ceremony on Monday, Jan. 21.

The committee said three women have previously sworn in presidents and vice presidents: Judge Sarah T. Hughes swore in President Johnson in 1963; Justice Sandra Day O’Connor swore in Vice President Dan Quayle in 1989; and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg swore-in Vice President Al Gore in 1997.
 
"It's an incredible honor to have Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor swear me in,” Vice President Biden said. “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. 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.”

Robert Barnes has been a Washington Post reporter and editor since 1987. He has covered the Supreme Court since November 2006.
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