J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Sonia Sotomayor (left) is accompanied by her brother, Juan Luis Sotomayor, and her mother, Celina Sotomayor, as she takes the oath from Chief Justice John Roberts to become a Supreme Court justice Saturday in Washington.
Sonia Sotomayor (left) is accompanied by her brother, Juan Luis Sotomayor, and her mother, Celina Sotomayor, as she takes the oath from Chief Justice John Roberts to become a Supreme Court justice Saturday in Washington. J. Scott Applewhite/AP
Sonia Sotomayor has been sworn in as a Supreme Court justice, becoming the first Hispanic justice and only the third woman to reach the high bench.
The 55-year-old justice was raised in a South Bronx housing project. Saturday, she raised her hand in an ornate conference room at the Supreme Court, beneath a portrait of the legendary Chief Justice John Marshall.
She took the oath from Chief Justice John Roberts, flanked by her brother and her mother, who held the Bible.
Sotomayor swore to "administer justice without respect to persons" and "do equal right to the poor and to the rich."
Relatives and friends applauded at the end of her oath. A private oath was administered before the public ceremony.
The several dozen guests included Justice Anthony Kennedy, White House counsel Greg Craig and other members of the administration's team that helped prepare her for her Senate confirmation hearings.
Roberts, wearing his black judicial robe, said that once the oaths were done, Sotomayor could "begin work as associate justice without delay."
President Obama scheduled a White House reception for Sotomayor on Wednesday.
The court is set to hear arguments Sept. 9 in a campaign finance case. The entire court will convene the day before for a formal ceremony to welcome Sotomayor.
Sotomayor has been a federal judge for 17 years. Obama nominated her in May to take the place of Justice David Souter after Souter announced his retirement. The Senate confirmed Sotomayor's nomination Thursday by a 68-31 vote.
Most Republicans voted against Sotomayor, many citing a speech where she said she hoped a "wise Latina woman" would often reach a better conclusion than "a white male who hasn't lived that life."
Sotomayor later apologized, calling that a "rhetorical flourish that fell flat."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.