Vice President-elect Kamala Harris’ swearing-in Wednesday will highlight two other trailblazers, as well as a woman who had an impact on her as a young girl.
The ceremony will reflect her lived experience as she makes history as the first woman, African American and South Asian to become the second most powerful person in the country. Harris is set to be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina member of the court, who was nominated by the first Black president, Barack Obama, in 2009, according to the transition team. The plan was first reported by ABC News.
Harris will take the oath of office on a pair of Bibles. One was owned by Regina Shelton, who lived two doors down from Harris’ family in Oakland and who was considered a second mother by Harris and her sister, Maya. Harris used the same Bible when she was sworn in as the first Black person and woman to serve as attorney general of California and the only Black woman currently serving as a U.S. senator.
The second Bible belonged to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African American to serve on the court and a personal hero of Harris’. Marshall and Harris also share an alma mater — he the valedictorian of the 1933 class at Howard University School of Law, and she a 1986 graduate of the historically Black college.
Harris and President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration had already been altered dramatically by the novel coronavirus pandemic, and now security measures have gotten even tighter after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump.