Just in case you've been buried under sand or otherwise piled up on (as I have been for about a month), let us now seize the moment to celebrate Sonia Sotomayor, who has been officially sworn in as the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice ever and just the third woman in the court's 220-year history.
Sotomayor took her public oath of office last Saturday from Chief Justice John Roberts, with her left hand resting upon a Bible held by her mother, Celina, and Sonia's only sibling, her brother Juan, standing beside her as a witness.
The Senate vote almost a week ago to confirm Sotomayor as the court's 111th justice was 68-31. America's longest-serving senator, 91-year-old Robert Byrd (D-WV), despite his tenuous condition following a lengthy hospitalization, was brought in in a wheelchair to vote for Sotomayor. The only senator absent from the floor was Edward Kennedy (D-MA), who is currently suffering from brain cancer.
President Obama applauded the Senate's favorable vote on his first Supreme Court nominee as "breaking another barrier and moving us yet another step closer to a more perfect union."
Today, at a White House celebration held in her honor, Sotomayor echoed the President's sentiments, saying, "It is our nation's faith in a more perfect union that allows a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx to stand here now. I am struck again today by the wonder of my own life and the life we in America are so privileged to lead."
The court is scheduled to hear arguments September 9th in a campaign finance case. The whole court will convene the day prior for a formal welcoming ceremony for Sotomayor.