Harris to be sworn in as U.S. vice-president by Justice Sotomayor

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Vice-president-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday, a history-making event in which the first Black, South Asian and female U.S. vice-president will take her oath of office from the first Latina justice.

Harris chose Sotomayor for the task, according to a person familiar with the decision. She’ll also use two Bibles for the swearing-in, one of which belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice.

ABC News first reported the latest details of Harris’s inauguration plans.

Harris has expressed admiration for both Sotomayor and Marshall. She and Sotomayor share experience as prosecutors, and she once called Marshall — like Harris, a graduate of Howard University — one of her “greatest heroes.”

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks during a panel discussion celebrating Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to be a Supreme Court Justice, on Sept. 25, 2019 at the Library of Congress in Washington. (Jacquelyn Martin/The Associated Press)

The vice-president-elect said in a video posted to Twitter that she viewed Marshall as “one of the main reasons I wanted to be a lawyer,” calling him “a fighter” in the courtroom.

And this will be the second time Sotomayor takes part in an inauguration. She swore in U.S. president-elect Joe Biden as vice president in 2013.

Resigning from Senate on Monday

Harris will resign her Senate seat on Monday, two days before she and Biden are inaugurated.

Aides to the California Democrat confirmed the timing and said Gov. Gavin Newsom was aware of her decision, clearing the way for him to appoint fellow Democrat Alex Padilla, now California’s secretary of state, to serve the final two years of Harris’s term.

Padilla will be the first Latino senator from California, where about 40 per cent of residents are Hispanic. Newsom announced his choice in December, following intense lobbying for the rare Senate vacancy from the country’s most populous state.

Harris will give no farewell Senate floor speech. The Senate is not scheduled to reconvene until Tuesday, the eve of Inauguration Day.



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