Entries in Swear In (6)


Justice Sotomayor Says Swearing In VP Biden Will Be ‘Surreal’

(WASHINGTON) -- Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says that one of the most significant moments of her life will take place this week during President Obama's second inauguration.

Sotomayor, born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, said in an interview with ABC News/Univision's Jorge Ramos that her role administering the oath of office to Biden is "enormously important" to her, almost as much as being named to the high court.

"It will be one among many, but a second very important improbable event happening in my life," she said. "As a child I never imagined being a Supreme Court justice. I never imagined swearing in a vice president either. It's going to feel a little surreal."

Sotomayor became the first Hispanic person to serve on the Supreme Court in 2009. And this month she was selected to be the first Hispanic person to administer an inaugural oath of office.

The justice has recently opened up about her past with the release of her new memoir My Beloved Life. In it, she tells the journey of growing up poor in the Bronx to attending Princeton University and Yale Law School and credits affirmative action policies changed the course of her life.

But while she recognizes the value of having more women and minorities in positions of power, she told Ramos that more women on the bench would not necessarily change how the court decides controversial cases on issues like abortion and gun rights.

"You know, you can't ever tell because that is generalizing or stereotyping believing that every women is going to vote the same way in every case or that every women feels the same about societal issues," she said. "We are all different whether we are women or men, and so I think our decisions are going to be made on our views of what the law says they should be, not our views but what our vote should be."

Sotomayor has declined to comment on an upcoming case that challenges affirmative action policies at the University of Texas and likewise, she refused to detail her views on gun laws as President Obama and Congress begin to consider new gun-control measures in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting.

"Those are the questions the court is going to look at; and for me to give a personal opinion is going to suggest to the public that I have made up my mind. I haven't," she said. "I have to see what the law is, I have to read what the parties argue about the law, I have to study the history and then I decide."

At the end of the interview, Justice Sotomayor agreed to show Jorge Ramos her salsa dancing skills. Not only can the news anchor ask tough questions, but he's the only one who could ask a Supreme Court Justice to dance on national television.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Classic Biden on Display at Senate Mock Swearing-In

Saul Loeb-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden turned on the charm and amped up the wit at the Senate mock swearing-in Thursday, schmoozing with senators’ moms, doling out dating advice to one senator’s granddaughter and offering some workout help to one new senator’s family member.

As senators brought their families up to take photos with the vice president, Biden would always single out the mothers, directly calling them “Mom,” embracing them as he said hello and touching some of their faces.

When he greeted the mother of Sen. Deb Fischer, R-Neb., he told her, “You’ve got beautiful eyes, mom.”

“Mom, I’ll see you in a little bit,” Biden said to the mother of Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., as she walked away. “I hope I’ll sneak over and see you.”

While Biden hugged the mother of Sen. John Barrasso,  the Wyoming GOP senator made a joking dig at the vice president, telling him, “She liked [Dick] Cheney better, she told me.”

But while he seemed to flirt with the senators’ mothers, he gave strict advice to the young women in the mix of family members, telling the granddaughter of Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, “No serious guys until you’re 30.”

While there was a lull in the photo-ops, Biden turned to the crowd and joked, “Anybody else want to be sworn in as a senator today?”

Then came Biden’s odd jokes, like when he teased the husband of newly sworn-in Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D.

“Spread your legs.  You’re going to be frisked,” Biden said to Heitkamp’s husband as he was being asked to put his hands at his side for the mock swearing-in.

And when Biden greeted the family of newly appointed Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., he singled out one of Scott’s family members for his athletic prowess.

“If you ever need any help on your pecs, let me know,” Biden said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Senators’ Kids Steal the Show at Mock Swear-In

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- They have been sworn into the Senate Thursday, but for Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Ted Cruz (R-Texas), their kids were the ones who stole the show.

First was Gillibrand’s son, held atop his mother’s hip as she lightly touched the Bible during a mock swear-in with Vice President Joe Biden.

Midway through the oath, Gillibrand’s son reached out his hand and ruffled his mom’s hair.  With a big smile, Gillibrand proceeded with the oath as she tried to tamp down her hair.

Then came Murphy, who carried his son in one arm as he participated in the mock swear-in. (The real swearing-in occurs on the Senate floor; this particular one is a re-enactment for families, friends and photos.) As Murphy lifted his hand to take the oath, the toddler raised his hand as well, providing a perfect photo op for Murphy and his young son together being sworn in as a senator.

And as Catherine Cruz, the youngest daughter of the new Republican senator from Texas, started to cry, Biden quickly picked her up and joked about himself, “That’s a Democrat, I know but that’s O.K.”

Cruz’s wife Heidi quipped back, “She cries loudly for Republicans too.”

Watch more here:


Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Congressmen Who Skipped Swearing-In Stall GOP Health Reform Repeal

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Two House Republicans Wednesday somehow neglected to get sworn in as new members of Congress.

A photo on the PhillyBurbs website shows Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas with Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania on Capitol Hill, but during the swearing-in ceremony they were not in the House chamber but rather in front of a television in the Capitol Visitors Center.

On Thursday, Sessions and Fitzpatrick were on the House floor, voting and reading the Constitution -- just like every other sworn-in member of Congress. And Sessions helped preside over a hearing of the House Rules Committee on the GOP’s push to repeal the health care law.

But once GOP leaders learned that two of their members weren’t yet legitimate members of Congress, they abruptly stopped the Rules hearing on the health care law.

Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-N.C., was in the chair at the hearing and had just finished welcoming Rep. Rob Andrews, D-N.J., to the witness table when an aide whispered something into Foxx’s ear.

“I am sorry but we need to take a recess,” Foxx suddenly told Andrews.

Andrews was a bit surprised and joked to Foxx that he should not have just thanked her for letting him testify. Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass. -- who was also waiting to testify at the hearing -- was less amused, muttering, “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

Andrews asked Foxx when the hearing might restart, but Foxx replied, “I am sorry I don’t know an answer to your question. We’ll make it as short as possible.”

And with that, just before 3 p.m., the hearing adjourned -- over an hour later, it had yet to resume.

Jennifer Crider, spokesperson for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the snafu was no laughing matter.

“When Congressmen-elect Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick participated in reading parts of the U.S. Constitution on the House floor, Speaker Boehner should have given them Article 6 which requires Members of Congress to be sworn in,” Crider said. “Jokes aside, Congressmen-elect Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick’s actions raise serious questions: What in the world was more important to Congressmen-elect Pete Sessions and Mike Fitzpatrick than taking the oath of office, committing to support and defend the U.S. Constitution? Why did Speaker Boehner and House Republican leadership allow two people who were not sworn Members of Congress to vote and speak on the House floor? Republicans have spent a lot of time over the past two days proselytizing about House rules, but they don’t seem very keen on actually following the rules.”

Shortly after the Rules committee hearing was stopped, Fitzpatrick and Sessions both appeared back on the House floor and were administered the oath of office by Speaker Boehner.

“During the swearing in of the 112th Congress, Congressman Sessions stated the oath publicly in the Capitol but was not on the House floor,” Davis said. “To ensure that all constitutional and House requirements are fulfilled, Congressman Sessions officially took the oath of office this afternoon from the House floor. Public records and votes will be adjusted accordingly.”

A Republican aide noted that Sessions was present for the quorum call and manual roll call on the election Speaker Boehner, so right now Boehner’s office and the Rules panel are determining the appropriate process to correct the record to reflect Thursday’s oath.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Moving Day for Congress: Out with the Old, In with the New

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The halls of the congressional office buildings are packed with staffers waiting in line for office keys. Furniture clutters entryways waiting to be arranged. It's moving day for the new Congress.

For many of the 94 newly elected members, the journey that ended at the steps of Rayburn, Cannon and Longworth Monday morning began many miles away and with no thought of entering public life.

It's largest influx of new members of Congress in the House in nearly 20 years and it's mostly Republican. Eighty-five to be exact, with just nine lonely Democrats set to be sworn in on Wednesday. At least 35 of these newly elected members have never held elected office.

The Republicans unveiled their first major piece of legislation Monday night: the repeal of the Health Care Reform law. The legislation was posted online Monday evening, which means the first procedural vote on health care repeal will likely be Friday -- keeping their pledge to post all bills for 72 hours before holding a vote.

Vote on the repeal bill itself will follow on Wednesday, January 12.

That health care reform vote will be a largely symbolic vote, and a nod to the Tea Party, because there is virtually no chance repeal would pass the Senate. These new members will soon be in the midst of a potentially bigger battle over funding the federal government.

Tea Partiers, for their part, say they are watching Republicans closely in these opening weeks.

"We plan to watch these people just as closely as we did the Democrats over the past two years," Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots, told ABC News. "If they don't do what we expect, they will see the same kind of intense pressure the Democrats did. It's fair to say no one is safe."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Biden Swears In Manchin and Coons, Newest Members of US Senate

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Vice President Joe Biden on Monday came to Capitol Hill to swear in the winners of two special elections, Democrats Chris Coons of Delaware and Joe Manchin of West Virginia.
At 4:06 p.m. EST, Biden made Coons and Manchin the newest members of the U.S. Senate. Minutes later, Biden turned to the parliamentarian for direction on what to do next, asking, “Where am I now, coach?”
Coons will replace Sen. Ted Kaufman, who served out the remainder of the loquacious Biden’s term, while Manchin will replace Carte Goodwin, who came to the Hill last summer after the death of Sen. Robert Byrd. 
But another special election-winner was conspicuously absent from Monday’s swearing-in. Republican Mark Kirk of Illinois defeated Democrat Alexi Giannoulias in that state’s special election earlier this month, but Kirk will not be sworn in for another two weeks.
Once Kirk is sworn in to replace Democrat Roland Burris, the Democrats’ majority in the Senate will shrink by one.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio 

ABC News Radio