WASHINGTON (CNN) – Justice Sonia Sotomayor was welcomed to the Supreme Court by her new colleagues in a brief special ceremony Tuesday in the ornate courtroom.
President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were among those who attended the investiture of the 111th justice, where the court accepted her commission to serve on the high court.
During the five-minute ceremony, a beaming Sotomayor formally joined the eight other justices on the bench. The court has returned early from its summer recess to hear arguments in an appeal Wednesday dealing with campaign finance reform. It will be the 55-year-old justice's first case.
Among those who attended were members of Congress and the Obama administration, including Attorney General Eric Holder, who formally introduced Sotomayor to those gathered.
Sotomayor took the judicial oath administered by Chief Justice John Roberts and was then escorted to the far end of the bench and her new seat.
Roberts concluded the ceremony by wishing Sotomayor "a long and happy career in our common calling."
Most of the other justices showed little emotion, but Justice Bader Ginsburg smiled widely throughout the entire ceremony. Until Sotomayor,
Ginsburg had been the only female on the court and had openly called for more gender diversity on that bench. All of Obama's finalists for the high court vacancy were women.
Tuesday's pageantry was mostly for show, since Sotomayor was already confirmed last month by the Senate and officially sworn in August 8 by the chief justice, allowing her to begin her work immediately. She was a federal appeals court judge in New York when Obama nominated her to fill the vacancy left by the retired Justice David Souter.
Souter attended the ceremonies, sitting in a special visitors gallery next to Biden.
Sotomayor wore a white lace collar around her judicial robes, and appeared nervous entering the courtroom. She nodded when Obama and Biden arrived.
Roberts later escorted Sotomayor down the exterior steps of the court for a photo op with the media. The courtroom investiture was closed to camera coverage.