The swearing-in of Vice President-elect Kamala Harris Wednesday, will acknowledge historical milestones as the first Latina Supreme Court justice oversees the ceremony.
An aide for Harris confirmed for Fox News Saturday that the vice president-elect appreciated that she and Sonia Sotomayor share similar backgrounds in their work as prosecutors.
Harris also was inspired by Sotomayor’s work in the civil rights sector.
The former California attorney general will not only be the first woman to serve as vice president, but she also will be the first Black and South Asian vice president elected to the office.
This will not be Sotomayor’s first inauguration, as she swore in then-Vice President Joe Biden in 2013, launching the Obama-Biden administration’s second term.
Biden’s presidential inauguration will see many differences from the last time he was sworn in at the U.S. Capitol – not least of which will be the absence of President Trump.
Traditionally, the outgoing president and president-elect travel together from the White House to the inauguration at the Capitol. The new president then walks the former commander-in-chief to Air Force One, where he departs.
But Trump is unlikely to host Biden at the traditional pre-inauguration White House visit, as he never conceded to the president-elect, following the certification of the Electoral College votes.
Photos circulated earlier this week showing the White House being cleared out, with aides moving boxes and loans from museums being loaded into trucks – suggesting that Trump may being getting out of dodge before Inauguration Day.
The president used his last tweet – just before the social media platform barred him – to announce that he would not be attending Biden’s inauguration, becoming the first president in more than 150 years not attending his successor’s swearing-in.
Biden was not disappointed by Trump’s decision, telling reporters during a recent press conference it was, “one of the few things he and I have ever agreed on.”
“It’s a good thing, him not showing up,” he added.
But Biden said that Vice President Mike Pence — who was on the recieving end of Trump attacks just last week, for refusing to interfere in the certification of the Electoral College results – would be “welcome” at his inauguration.
“I think it’s important that, as much as we can, stick to what has been the historical precedent…and the circumstances of which an administration changes should be maintained,” Biden said.
“I’d be honored to have him there and to move forward in the transition,” he added.
The 2021 inauguration already was set to look different from past ceremonies, with limited attendance due to the coronavirus pandemic.
But there is now a new element that will separate Wednesday’s ceremony from previous inaugurations: The presence of 21,000 National Guardsmen and 5,000 active duty troops will protect the nation’s Capitol, following the attack by Trump supporters Jan. 6.
Jennifer Griffin contributed to this report.
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