WASHINGTON (CN) – Elena Kagan was sworn in as the 112th Supreme Court justice on Saturday, becoming the fourth woman on the high court’s bench in U.S. history.
Kagan took two oaths administered by Chief Justice John Roberts at a swearing-in ceremony held at the court. Roberts first administered the constitutional oath in a private ceremony before Kagan’s family, retired Justice John Paul Stevens and sitting Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor. The chief justice then administered the judicial oath before a larger gathering of family and friends.
Standing in a Supreme Court conference room with her right hand raised and her left hand on the Bible, Kagan vowed, “I, Elena Kagan, do solemnly swear, that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”
“Congratulations,” Roberts said after she finished, shaking Kagan’s hand. Kagan beamed as the room broke into applause.
Kagan’s brothers, Marc and Irving Kagan, were in attendance.
The Supreme Court will hold a formal investiture ceremony on Oct. 1 at a special sitting of the court.
The Senate voted 63-37 Thursday in favor of Kagan’s nomination. Five Republicans voted to confirm her nomination, and one Democrat voted against it.
In a White House reception held Friday to celebrate the confirmation, President Obama praised Kagan for her “formidable intellect and path-breaking career.”
Obama appointed Kagan as the first woman solicitor general in 2009. Kagan was also the first woman dean of Harvard Law School.
Prior to serving as solicitor general, Kagan served as a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall in 1988, associate counsel and a policy advisor to President Clinton from 1995 to 1999, a law professor at Harvard and University of Chicago Law Schools and dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009.