VP Biden’s Aides Were “Miffed” After Sotomayor Rescheduled His Inaugural Oath

October 24th, 2014

Back in January of 2013, I blogged how Justice Sotomayor rescheduled Vice President Biden’s inaugural oath so she could attend a book signing in New York. I thought this was inappropriate, and offensive. The VP shrugged it off, but we learn in Joan Biskupic’s book that the VP’s staff was “miffed”:

After the reelection victory, Vice President Biden asked Justice Sotomayor to administer the oath of office for the January 20, 2013, inaugural. She agreed, but imposed a condition. She needed the event moved up four hours earlier than the traditional noon ceremony. Sotomayor had committed to a book signing in Manhattan that afternoon and wanted to make sure she got to it. Biden’s aides were miffed. The Los Angeles Times, the first to report that Biden would not be sworn in with Obama, cheekily observed that Sotomayor would not reveal her plans, that she simply “had somewhere else to be.” Court officials would not confirm that Sotomayor’s schedule was dictated by the book event posted on the Barnes & Noble website. 14 A writer on the legal blog Above the Law remarked, “What was more important to Justice Sonia Sotomayor than swearing in Joe Biden as VP at noon on Sunday? Signing books at Barnes & Noble in New York City. Not so wise Latina.” 15 But Sotomayor’s move passed with little public interest or real press scrutiny. Even Vice President Biden accepted the situation matter-of-factly, telling his 120 guests as she rushed off on the morning of the inauguration, “I wanted to explain to you what a wonderful honor it was and how much out of her way the justice had to go. She is due in New York … We are going to walk out , you see her car’s waiting so she can catch a train I hope I haven’t caused her to miss.”

I’m glad Biden was a good sport about it.