Sonia Sotomayor has managed to etch her name in history once again…
The 58-year-old Puerto Rican Supreme Court Justice, the first Hispanic person to join the nation’s highest court, administered the oath of office to Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday morning, making her the first Hispanic to swear in a president or vice president.
Sotomayor was personally selected by Biden to do the honor.
“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,” said Biden. “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.”
Sotomayor administered the oath before attending to another responsibility on that day: signing copies of her new autobiography at a New York City bookstore just a few hours later.
Biden’s office scheduled the swearing-in for 8:00 am ET to give Sotomayor enough time to catch a train for a three-hour ride to New York, where she was due to speak at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Manhattan at 2:30 pm and sign copies of her memoir, My Beloved World.
Sotomayor’s schedule was squeezed, however, when the private ceremony at the vice president’s Naval Observatory residence began more than 20 minutes late after a Mass for Biden’s friends and family.
Before Sotomayor departed, Biden made clear he appreciated her sticking around to give him the oath of office.
“I wanted to explain to you what a wonderful honor it was and how much out of her way the justice had to go,” Biden said after the short event attended by family and about 120 guests.
“She is due in New York. She has to leave right now, so I apologize,” Biden said. “We are going to walk out, you see her car’s waiting so she can catch a train I hope I haven’t caused her to miss.”
Despite the time constraints, Sotomayor delivered the vice presidential oath flawlessly before noon on Sunday, the day mandated by the constitution for the president’s official term to begin.
Biden and Sotomayor will do it all one more time on Monday, at the public inauguration ceremony on Capitol Hill in front of a crowd that could reach 800,000 people.