Kamala Harris to be sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor

Minyvonne Burke and Deepa Shivaram and Josh Lederman
·2 min read

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, according to an official with the President-elect Joe Biden's transition team — making Wednesday's inauguration that much more historic.

Harris will be the first woman, the first Black American and the first South Asian American vice president. Sotomayor is the first Latina Supreme Court Justice.

Both women are also former prosecutors.

The news was first reported by ABC News.

Biden — who was sworn in by Sotomayor for his second term as vice president — has chosen the theme "America United" for the inauguration and will participate in several activities alongside former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

“At a time of unprecedented crisis and deep divisions, America United reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future,” Biden’s inaugural committee said in a statement this week.

Following the swearing-in ceremony, Biden and Harris along with their spouses will hold a socially distanced Pass in Review, a military ritual where the newly sworn-in president reviews military readiness.

They will then lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington.

It was announced Thursday that Lady Gaga will perform the national anthem at the ceremony and Jennifer Lopez will give a musical performance on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.

Other performances Wednesday will include Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, Bruce Springsteen and Ant Clemons. Actor Tom Hanks will host a 90-minute primetime TV special.

The inauguration is slated to take place exactly two weeks after a violent mob of President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.

Federal authorities have made dozens of arrests connected to the attack.

Trump, who encouraged the mob, will not attend the inauguration, but Vice President Mike Pence is expected to attend.

Planning has continued into this weekend for a potential send-off ceremony for Trump at Joint Base Andrews on Wednesday full of pomp and circumstance as Trump attempts to leave office looking like a statesman rather than a defeated, twice-impeached, one-term president.

The discussions include recreating the traditional pageantry of a formal visit by a head of state, including a color guard, military band, a red carpet and even a 21-gun salute, according to a person involved in the planning.

The plans are still tentative and could change between now and Wednesday. What role the military will ultimately play in the festivities remains unclear. But Trump has clear to his aides he wants a celebratory send-off full of fanfare. There have also been discussions about inviting Trump supporters to attend the ceremony.