Sonia Sotomayor has been sworn in as the first Hispanic justice in the
220-year history of the U.S. Supreme Court. The oath was administered by Chief Justice
Sonia Sotomayor, the daughter of Puerto Rican
parents, who grew up in public housing in the New York City borough of
the Bronx, is the newest justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
addition to being the first ethnic Hispanic on the Supreme Court,
Sotomayor is the third woman justice, and the first justice appointed
by President Barack Obama.
Justice Sotomayor officially begins
her new job when the high court's next session begins on October 5,
although some arguments will be heard before then.
She is not
expected to change the ideological balance of the Court. She replaces
the recently-retired David Souter, who was appointed by a Republican
president but usually voted with the court's liberal justices.
the least-senior justice, Sotomayor will be responsible for taking
notes in the justices' private meetings and reporting the decisions to
the court clerk. She will also go last when the nine justices vote on
At 55, Sotomayor is the second-youngest justice, several months older than Chief Justice Roberts.
is the third New York City native on the court, along with Ruth Bader
Ginsburg, from the borough of Brooklyn, and Antonin Scalia, from Queens.
public swearing-in, which took place in an ornate conference room at
the Supreme Court, was the second of two oaths Sotomayor took
Saturday. She was also sworn in privately a few minutes earlier.
For the public oath, she was joined by her mother and brother, as well as other relatives and friends.