Justice Clarence Thomas to make history as first black person to swear in a vice president

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Justice Clarence Thomas to make history as first black person to swear in a vice president

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WASHINGTON - MARCH 13: U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas testifies before the House Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee on Capitol Hill March 13, 2008 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

On Jan. 20, Mike Pence will be sworn in as the vice president of the United States. 

For the first time in history, the man swearing in the vice president will be a black person. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas is slated to administer the oath of office to Pence.

"It will be my honor to take the oath of office to defend our Constitution from a man who has dedicated his life to the same noble pursuit," Pence said. "Justice Thomas was born into poverty in Pin Point, Georgia. From those humble beginnings, Justice Thomas went on to graduate from Holy Cross College and Yale Law School. He served in the Reagan administration and was appointed to the federal bench in 1990 and the Supreme Court in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush.

"I have long admired Justice Clarence Thomas and deeply respect his judicial philosophy, dedication to the rule of law and his historic service on the bench of our nation’s highest court."

According to a news release, Thomas and Pence will use Reagan's Bible, the same one that the late president used at his own ceremony. The Bible has rested in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California for years.

"President Ronald Reagan placed his faith in a loving God and the goodness of our country. He set out to change a nation and in doing so, he changed the world. In the march of history, Ronald Reagan's time in office was limited, but his legacy inspired a generation and will continue beyond," Pence said. "It will be humbling to enter office with President Donald Trump, standing next to my family, with my wife Karen holding the same Bible used by President Reagan when he took office."

Trump will use his own Bible and the same Bible that Abraham Lincoln used at his first inauguration. Barack Obama also used the Lincoln Bible at both of his inaugurations.

According a CBS fact sheet, three other presidents have used two Bibles when they were sworn in: Harry Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower and  George H.W. Bush.

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