Joe Biden was sworn in to a second term as the Vice President of the United States on Sunday morning, taking his oath from Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor -- the first Hispanic in American history to administer an oath of office.
Biden personally selected Sotomayor, who is also the fourth woman to administer an oath, to conduct the brief ceremony at the vice president's residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
By law, the president and vice president must be sworn in on Jan. 20. Because that date falls on a Sunday this year, both men take their formal oaths today, but will hold the traditional longer public ceremony tomorrow.
Biden's swearing-in was originally scheduled to be held shortly before the president's, near noon Sunday. But Sotomayor's previous commitment to a book signing in New York City prompted officials to move the event earlier in the day.
"It's an incredible honor to have Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor swear me in," Biden said in a statement. "I believed strongly that she would make a great Justice, and it was one of the greatest pleasures of my career to be involved in her selection to the Court. From the first time I met her, I was impressed by Justice Sotomayor's commitment to justice and opportunity for all Americans, and she continues to exemplify those values today. Above all, I'm happy for the chance to be sworn in by a friend - and someone I know will continue to do great things."
After the short swearing-in, Biden again thanked Sotomayor personally, explaining to the small group of guests the reason for the early timing of the event.
Biden took the oath on a family Bible bearing a Celtic cross. It has been in the Biden family since 1893.
Cabinet members attending the ceremony included Attorney General Eric Holder and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. He was joined on stage by his family, including wife Dr. Jill Biden and his three children.