Without a Bible, and in a decidedly hi-tech ceremony, Suzi LeVine, the new United States Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, became the first U.S. official to take the oath of office on an electronic copy of the U.S. Constitution
LeVine was sworn in as the United States’ newest Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein by raising her right hand and placing the left on a digital copy of the U.S. Constitution.
A former Microsoft executive and fundraiser for the Obama team, LeVine solemnly swore her oath of office with her hand on an electronic reader being held by her son and daughter.
Mashable reports Before joining the government, LeVine’s career was centered on education. She co-founded the Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences at the University of Washington, an organization dedicated to early learning research, and was the chairperson of its advisory board from 2006 to 2013. LeVine also worked at Microsoft from 2009 to 2012 as its director of strategic partnerships for student developers and director of communications for education.
The electronic device used at the ceremony was opened to the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, the act that allowed women to vote. Passed by Congress June 4, 1919, and ratified on August 18, 1920, the 19th amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote.
While some religious conservatives may object to a ceremony without the Bible, it is important to note that the Constitution clearly states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States” (Article VI, section 3).
In the past, at least four presidents and numerous other public officials have been sworn into office without the use of a Bible.
On March 4, 1825, John Quincy Adams was sworn in as the sixth president of the United States. When Chief Justice John Marshall administered the oath, Adams placed his hand not on a Bible, but on a law book containing the U.S. Constitution.
And in 2013, as members of the 113th Congress were sworn in, Representative Kyrsten Sinema (D – Ariz.) placed her hand not over a copy of the Bible, but a copy of the U. S. Constitution.