Hurry up Mr Vice President, I've got a train to catch

WASHINGTON Mon Jan 21, 2013 8:53am IST

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as his wife Jill Biden holds the family bible while family members look on at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington January 20, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as his wife Jill Biden holds the family bible while family members look on at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington January 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque

Related Topics

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sonia Sotomayor had one eye on the door when she administered the oath of office to Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday.

Apart from officially swearing in Biden for his second term in office, the Supreme Court justice had other business to attend to: signing copies of her new autobiography at a New York City bookstore a few hours later.

Biden's office scheduled the swearing-in for 8 a.m. EST/1300 GMT to allow Sotomayor, the first Hispanic on the nation's highest court, enough time to catch a train for a three-hour ride to New York.

On Sunday at 2:30 p.m./1730 GMT, Sotomayor had been due to speak at a Barnes & Noble bookstore in Manhattan and sign copies of her memoir, "My Beloved World."

Her schedule was squeezed, however, when the private ceremony at the vice president's Naval Observatory residence began more than 20 minutes late after a Mass for Biden's friends and family.

Before Sotomayor departed, Biden made clear he appreciated her sticking around to give him the oath of office.

"I wanted to explain to you what a wonderful honor it was and how much out of her way the justice had to go," Biden said after the short event, attended by family and about 120 guests.

"She is due in New York. She has to leave right now, so I apologize," Biden said. "We are going to walk out, you see her car's waiting so she can catch a train I hope I haven't caused her to miss."

Despite the time pressure, Sotomayor delivered the vice presidential oath impeccably - unlike Chief Justice John Roberts, who mixed up the words to the shorter presidential oath when he swore in Barack Obama as president in 2009.

Sotomayor made the book signing in New York and read out a chapter to some 200 people about her parents and childhood in the Bronx.

She said she was "deeply touched" by the people who had waited at the bookstore for hours to see her. "That's an awesome amount of love to feel."

Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said the book event was a longstanding commitment that Sotomayor could not break.

Roberts swore in Obama for the president's second term just before noon on Sunday, the day mandated by the Constitution for the president's official term to begin.

The two men, plus Biden and Sotomayor, will do it all one more time on Monday, at a public inauguration ceremony on Capitol Hill in front of a crowd that Washington officials say could reach 800,000 people. (Reporting by Alistair Bell, Roberta Rampton and Joan Biskupic in Washington and Terry Baynes in New York. Editing by Christopher Wilson)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ebola Outbreak

REUTERS SHOWCASE

School Shooting

School Shooting

Two killed, four wounded in Washington state school shooting.  Full Article 

Mideast Crisis

Mideast Crisis

Kurds reject Erdogan report of deal with Syrian rebels to aid besieged Kobani.  Full Article 

Canada Shooting

Canada Shooting

Canada vows tougher laws as citizens worry in face of attacks.  Full Article 

"Unilateral Diktat"

"Unilateral Diktat"

Putin accuses United States of damaging world order.  Full Article 

Nuclear Threat

Nuclear Threat

U.S. general says he believes N. Korea can build nuclear warhead.  Full Article 

Hatchet Attack

Hatchet Attack

NYC police say hatchet attack by Islam convert was terrorism.  Full Article 

Bollywood World

Bollywood World

Read stories and reviews Bollywood films.  Full Coverage 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage