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Sotomayor Nomination Hearing

WASHINGTON – Justice Sonia Sotomayor has taken her seat at the Supreme Court in front of a packed courtroom that included President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.

The ceremony Tuesday was just for show. Sotomayor and the rest of the court will return Wednesday for the argument in a key case about campaign finance law.

Sotomayor, 55, last month became the first Hispanic and third woman to be a justice. She took the oath again Tuesday in a ceremony by which the court formally welcomes its newest member.

Attorney General Eric Holder presented Sotomayor’s ivory-colored commission from Obama. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office, after which Sotomayor took her seat at the end of the bench to Roberts’ left, next to Justice Stephen Breyer. All her colleagues were in attendance.

Sotomayor wore a white, decorative collar that was given to her by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and a new robe presented by her law clerks in New York.

Among the onlookers in the courtroom were her mother, Celina, and brother, Juan, the entertainer Ricky Martin, retired Justice David Souter, the man she replaced, members of Congress, federal judges and former top Justice Department officials.

After the ceremony, Sotomayor and Roberts descended the steps in front of the court to applause from a small crowd of tourists and well-wishers. The two justices briefly posed for photographs.

“Tell me when you’ve had enough,” she said, before her family joined her for another round of pictures.

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