Inauguration Day: Kamala Harris sworn in as vice president, achieving many ‘firsts’

WASHINGTON — Kamala Harris broke many barriers today when she was sworn in as vice president of the United States. She is the first female vice president. The first Black vice president. The first vice president of Asian descent.

The California native, Howard University graduate and proud “Momala” in a blended family took the oath of office at roughly noon. Her husband, Doug Emhoff, stood by her side.

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Harris was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina to serve on the high court. She took the oath of office on two Bibles: One previously belonged to family friend Regina Shelton, and Harris also used it during her swearing-in as California’s attorney general and when she entered the U.S. Senate.

The second Bible belonged to Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black person appointed to the Supreme Court. Marshall, who earned a law degree from Howard, inspired Harris to attend the historically black college in Washington.

As vice president, Harris serves as presiding officer of the U.S. Senate. Later Wednesday, she will swear in two other barrier-breakers: the Rev. Raphael Warnock, Georgia’s first Black senator, and Jon Ossoff, the first Jewish person to be elected to the Senate from Georgia.

Moving forward, Harris will also serve as the Senate’s tie-breaking vote when needed. Ossoff and Warnock taking office means that Republicans and Democrats each hold 50 seats.

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