Elena Kagan was sworn in Saturday as the 112th justice and fourth woman ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath to Kagan in a private ceremony at the court. Kagan, joined by family and friends, pledged to faithfully and impartially uphold the law.
"We look forward to serving with you," Roberts said after Kagan was sworn in.
Though Kagan won't be formally installed as a justice until Oct. 1 – the start of the court's new term – she is now able to assume her duties as a justice, which include reviewing cases and emergency appeals filed to the Supreme Court.
The 50-year-old former U.S. solicitor general is presently the youngest member of the high court and is one of three women sitting on the current court. She is also the first Supreme Court justice in nearly four decades with no previous experience as a judge.
Kagan succeeds retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, who was regarded as a leader of the court's liberal wing. The addition of Kagan is not expected to alter the ideological balance of the closely divided court.