Tags: Donald Trump | Supreme Court | inaugural | Clarence Thomas | Mike Pence | vice president

Clarence Thomas to Swear in Mike Pence as VP Jan. 20

Image: Clarence Thomas to Swear in Mike Pence as VP Jan. 20

Vice President-elect Mike Pence (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

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Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 10:54 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Barely a week before the inauguration of Donald Trump as President and Mike Pence as Vice President, the website of the Joint Inaugural Committee has just confirmed what conservatives nationwide had been hoping for since the election: Pence will be sworn in the nation's second-highest office by Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative hero on the Supreme Court.

The choice of Thomas, 68, is also historic as he becomes the first black American to administer the oath of office to either of the nation's highest office-holders. In 1993, Vice President-elect Al Gore wanted retired Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first black justice to sit on the court, to administer his oath. But Thomas was too ill, so Gore turned to then-Justice Byron White.

Nominated by then-President George H.W. Bush to succeed Justice Marshall in 1991, then-Appellate Judge Thomas appeared to have smooth sailing toward confirmation. But his confirmation proceedings erupted after one-time staffer Anita Hill made charges he had sexually harassed her while she was in his employ. Thomas heatedly denied all charges and, in fighting testimony, famously denounced the opposition to him as the "high-tech lynching of an uppity black who thinks for himself."

Later that year, Thomas was confirmed by the Senate by a vote of 52-48.

Known for almost never questioning lawyers who argue before the high court, Thomas has a record of voting the conservative line in cases ranging from abortion to campaign finance to the constitutionality of Obamacare.

Historically, the chief justice swears in the U.S. president and Donald Trump will be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts. But vice presidents have been sworn in by various officials. Then Sen. Richard Nixon, R.-Calif., in 1953, had the Republican senator from his home state William Knowland to swear him in as vice president, while Lyndon Johnson asked fellow Texan and House Speaker Sam Rayburn to do the honors when he became vice president in 1961.

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
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The website of the Joint Inaugural Committee has just confirmed what conservatives nationwide had been hoping for since the election: Pence will be sworn in the nation's second-highest office by Justice Clarence Thomas, a conservative hero on the Supreme Court.
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Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 10:54 PM
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