WASHINGTON - (AP) - Sonia Sotomayor became the Supreme Court'snewest justice Saturday, pledging during a brief ceremony at thehigh court to defend the Constitution and administer impartialjustice.
Sotomayor, 55, is the first Hispanic justice and only the thirdwoman in the court's 220-year history.
She took the second of two oaths of office from Chief JusticeJohn Roberts in an ornate conference room, beneath a portrait ofthe legendary Chief Justice John Marshall. Her left hand resting ona Bible that was held by her mother, Celina, Sotomayor pledged to"do equal right to the poor and to the rich."
Minutes earlier, she swore a first oath in a private ceremony inthe room where the justices hold their private conferences.
Sotomayor wore a cream-colored suit and her right ankle,fractured in a fall a couple of weeks after her nomination to thecourt, was unbandaged. Her 60 or so guests included Justice AnthonyKennedy, White House counsel Greg Craig and other members of theObama administration team that helped prepare her for her Senateconfirmation hearings, family and friends.
President Barack Obama scheduled a White House reception forSotomayor on Wednesday.
The court is set to hear arguments Sept. 9 in a campaign financecase. The entire court will convene the day before for a formalceremony to welcome Sotomayor.