Vice President Joe Biden sealed the deal on his second term in his official swearing-in ceremony held Sunday morning.
Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor was hand-picked by the second in command to administer the oath, making her the first Hispanic judge to ever to do so for the two highest-ranking positions in U.S. office. Previously, only three women have sworn-in vice presidents and presidents: Judge Sarah T. Hughes, Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and Justice Ruth Ginsburg.
“It’s an honor,” Biden said to Sotomayor immediately after he finished his oath.
“I want to explain to you what a wonderful honor it was and how much out of her way the justice had to go–she’s due in New York,” Biden said to the small gathering of roughly 120 people.
President Obama is to be sworn in Sunday at noon, but Biden was not scheduled to be sworn in at the same time as the president because sources say Sotomayor had a prior engagement. The Supreme Court justice recently launched a book tour for her new memoir, “My Beloved World,” and was already penciled in for a promotional event at Barnes and Noble in New York City.
“The vice president’s official swearing-in was scheduled in part to accommodate Justice Sotomayor’s schedule,” an administration official told NBC News’ Kristen Welker.
The president later met with Biden as the two participated in the wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
Since the U.S. Constitution requires that both the president and vice president must be sworn in on Jan. 20, both President Obama and Biden this year will have two ceremonies and repeat their oaths Monday for the public.