- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday took her seat at the U.S. Supreme Court in front of a packed courtroom that included President Obama and Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr..

The ceremony was just for show. Justice Sotomayor and the rest of the court will return Wednesday for the argument in a key case about campaign finance law.

Justice Sotomayor, 55, last month became the first Hispanic and third woman to become a justice. She took the oath again Tuesday in a ceremony by which the court formally welcomes its newest member.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. presented Justice Sotomayor’s ivory-colored commission from Mr. Obama. Chief Justice John G. Roberts administered the oath of office, after which Justice Sotomayor took her seat at the end of the bench to Chief Justice Roberts’ left, next to Justice Stephen G. Breyer. All her colleagues were in attendance.

Justice Sotomayor wore a decorative white collar given to her by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a new robe presented by her law clerks in New York.

Among the onlookers in the courtroom were her mother, Celina, and brother, Juan; the entertainer Ricky Martin; retired Justice David H. Souter, the man she replaced; members of Congress; federal judges; and former top Justice Department officials.

After the ceremony, Justice Sotomayor and Chief Justice Roberts descended the steps in front of the court to applause from a small crowd of tourists and well-wishers. The two justices briefly posed for photographs.

“Tell me when you’ve had enough,” she said before her family joined her for another round of pictures.