How does the saying go? Double the SCOTUS double the fun? No? It should.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced that Chief Justice John Roberts will give President Obama his oath of office on the official swearing-in ceremony on Sunday and Monday, January 19th and 20th while Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor will swear in Joe Biden as Veep. While it’s normal to have POTUS sworn in by SCOTUS, it will mark the second time that Roberts has had to swear-in Obama back to back.
“I will be honored to again stand on the Inaugural platform and take part in this important American tradition,” said President Obama. “I look forward to having Chief Justice John Roberts administer my oath of office as we gather to celebrate not just a president or vice president, but the strength and determination of the American people.”
President Obama followed presidential precedent in choosing the Chief Justice to administer his oath of office. Vice President Biden personally selected Associate Justice Sotomayor, who will be the first Hispanic and fourth female judge to administer an oath of office.
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.”
Historically, Inaugural Ceremonies are not held on a Sunday because Courts and other public institutions are not open. This year, in accordance with the requirements of the United States Constitution, President Obama and Vice President Biden will officially be sworn in on Sunday, January 20, 2013. The following day, Monday, January 21, 2013, a ceremonial swearing-in that is open to the public will take place on the West Front of the United States Capitol.
The official swearing-in ceremony on Sunday is being planned by the PIC. The ceremonial swearing-in on Monday is overseen by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.