As the nation gears up for the official transition of power between President Donald Trump and President-elect Joe Biden, incoming Vice President Kamala Harris is stepping up to the spotlight by highlighting some major firsts in the inauguration ceremony.
Harris is the first woman to serve as vice president, as well as the first Black and South Asian to serve in the seat. Wednesday’s inauguration will highlight the racial identities of several participants, including Harris and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who will oversee the swearing-in of Harris.
Sotomayor is the first Latina to officiate the ceremony, though it isn’t the first time that she’s supervised the event, having also sworn in Joe Biden as Vice President in 2013.
Fox News reported that Harris “appreciated that she and Sonia Sotomayor share similar backgrounds in their work as prosecutors. Harris also was inspired by Sotomayor’s work in the civil rights sector.”
Harris herself is well-known for highlighting her own participation and support for the civil rights cause, going as far as to allegedly plagiarize a story of Martin Luther King Jr.’s in an October interview with Elle.
Wednesday’s inauguration is set to be quite untraditional in many ways, with Washington D.C. officials shutting down the National Mall to public access ahead of the event, refusing to allow any kind of crowd to witness the event, and deploying nearly 30,000 National Guard and active-duty troops to the city to protect the incoming President.
Outgoing President Trump will also break tradition and plans to depart the White House for Florida the morning of the inauguration instead of attending the event. Vice President Mike Pence, however, is reportedly planning to represent the outgoing Trump administration in his place.