Supreme Court JusticesSamuel Alito, Clarence Thomas and StephenBreyer did not attend todays inauguration for President Biden because of public health risks posed by theCovid-19pandemic, according to the public information officer.
Justices Alito, Thomas and Breyer are also the oldest members of the court, respectively, at 70, 72 and 82.
Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the swearing ins of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
Sotomayor, who suffers from diabetes, has been extremely careful. When she appeared publicly for Ruth Bader Ginsburgs memorial, she wore a mask and a face shield.
Some of the justices have been working in chambers duringthe pandemic, although others have been participating from their homes. Justice Breyer, for example,has done some speaking appearances via zoom from his home In Boston.
At the time of Ginsburgs memorial and a closed-door welcome for Barrett, the court was extremely strict about masks, according to two sources. This departs from the other branches of government.
The justices have continued to conduct oral arguments and regular conferences by phone.
The inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris just wrapped up.
Now, there will be an inaugural parade although it will be largely a virtual one. Biden and Harris will have a presidential escort from 15th Street to the White House including the US Army Band, a Joint Service Honor Guard and the commander in chief's Guard and Fife Drum Corps. The drumlines from the University of Delaware and Howard University will join that event to honor the alma maters of the incoming president and vice president.
Theparadewill be hosted by "Scandal" actor Tony Goldwyn and will feature comedian Jon Stewart, New Radicals and DJ Cassidy's "Pass the Mic" with performances by Earth Wind & Fire, Nile Rodgers, Kathy Sledge, The Trans Chorus of Los Angeles, The Washington Chorus and The Triumph Baptist Church Choir.
Amanda Gorman, the nation's first-ever youth poet laureate, delivered a message of the country's resilience through her poem at President Biden's inauguration ceremony.
"BeingAmerican is more than a pride weinherit.It's the past we step into andhow we repair it," Gorman said.
"We will not march back to whatwas, but move to what shall be,a country that is bruised butwhole, benevolent but bold,fierce and free.We will not be turned around orinterrupted by intimidationbecause we know our inaction andinertia will become the future," she continued.
Typically, Gorman, who is 22 years old, said it takes her days to craft a new poem. She finished this one immediately.
"We will rebuild, reconcile andrecover," Gorman said in the poem.
Some background: Gorman is no stranger to grand stages. She's recited her poetry at theLibrary of Congress,Boston's Symphony Hall, theEmpire State Building's observation deckand all across the country, performing for such luminaries as Hillary Clinton, Al Gore and Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Gorman started writing poems when she was a child, but found it terrifying to perform due to a speech impediment. Bidenhas struggled with a stutter, Gorman said, and another inauguration poet Maya Angelou who delivered the poetry reading for Bill Clinton's first inauguration wasmute for several yearswhen she was a child.
White House Twitter accounts have been transitioned from the Trump administration to the Biden administration, according to Twitter spokespersonNick Pacilio.
The Trump administration Twitter accounts are now publicly archived,Pacilio said. Those include @POTUS45, @WhiteHouse45, @VP45,@PressSec45, @FLOTUS45 and @SecondLady45.
Joe Biden vowed that as president, he will commit to being transparent to the American people in his closing remarks.
"My fellow Americans, I closetoday where I began, with thesacred oath before God and allof you, I give you my word.I will alwayslevelwith you," he said during his inauguration address.
Biden promised to defend America for the "public good."
"I will defend the Constitution.I'll defend our democracy.I'll defend America.And I'll give all, all of you, keepeverything I do in your service,thinking not of power, but ofpossibilities.Not of personal interest, butthe public good.And together we shall write anAmerican story of hope, notfear, of unity, not division.Of light, not darkness.A story of decency and dignity,love and healing, greatness andgoodness," he said.
He ended on a message for Americans, saying that they met the moment.
"May this be the story thatguides us, the story that inspires and the stories that tell ages yet to come that we answered the call of history. We met the moment, democracy and hope, truth and justice did not die on our watch but thrived, that America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forebearers, one another and generations to follow. With purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time, sustain by faith, driven by conviction and devoted to one another and the country we love with all hearts," Biden said.
Kamala Harris has just made history becoming the first first female, first Black and first South Asian vice president in the nation's history. By her side, her husband Doug Emhoff has also made history, becoming America's first second gentleman.
Emoff will use the official @SecondGentleman account starting today.
Earlier this week, he tweeted about his new role:
"I have a growing sense of responsibility. But I know we wouldn't be here without the support of so many family, friends, and beyond. Thank you for being in our corner as we take on this next chapter."
Emhoff, a successful entertainment lawyer, married Harris in 2014 when she was serving as the attorney general of California. Harris is the stepmother to Emhoffs two adult children, Cole and Ella, who affectionately call her "Momala."
Emoffs support of Harris throughout her career has been notable, especially during Harris run for president.
And while Emoff has stayed out of the spotlight for the most part, he told GQ Magazine this about his new role: "I might be the first Second Gentleman, but I don't want to be the last."
Country music star Garth Brooks performed "Amazing Grace" following President Joe Biden's inaugural address.
Brooks called on people in attendance and those watching to sing along with him.
"I'm gonna ask you to sing thislast burst with me, the peopleat home, the people at work, asone united," Brooks said.
President Joe Biden used his inaugural speech to send a message to the rest of the world about the US.
"Here's my message to thosebeyond our borders.America has been tested, andwe've come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances andengage with the world onceagain," he said, vowing a change from the isolationist policies of his predecessor.
"We'll lead, not merely bythe example of our power, but bythe power of our example.We'll be a strong and trustedpartner for peace, progress andsecurity," he added.
Many European leaders have tweeted their congratulations to the new administration and expressed their optimism at working together.
Newly minted President Joe Biden referenced the current plight of America during his inaugural address, noting that the country has "much to repair, much to restore,much to heal, much to build, andmuch to gain."
As the coronavirus American death toll surpassed 400,000 this week, Biden noted that "few people in our nation'shistory have been morechallenged or found a time morechallenging or difficult thanthe time we're in now."
Speaking specifically of the Covid-19 pandemic, Biden referenced a "once-in-a-century virus, thatsilently stalks the country.It's taken as many lives in oneyear as America lost in all ofWorld War II."
But amid tones of pain and strife, as "millions of jobs have been lost," and there exists a "cry for racial justice some400 years in the making," Biden offered signs of hope.
"To overcome these challenges, torestore the soul and secure thefuture of America, requires somuch more than words. It requires the most elusive of allthings in a democracy: unity."