Stand up for the facts!
Misinformation isn't going away just because it's a new year. Support trusted, factual information with a tax deductible contribution to PolitiFact.
I would like to contribute
If Your Time is short
Vice President Kamala Harris took the oath of office on two Bibles. One belongs to a close family friend, and the other belonged to former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.
On Jan. 20, Kamala Harris became the first female, Black and Asian American vice president of the United States. But on Facebook, some say her swearing-in ceremony was a sham.
"JUST SO YOU KNOW: She put her clutch on top of the Bible so her hand is not touching it," says one post published Jan. 21.
(Screenshot from Facebook)
The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.) Similar claims have been widely shared in groups dedicated to former President Donald Trump, according to CrowdTangle, a social media insights tool.
The post includes a photo of Harris with her right hand raised as she takes the vice president’s oath of office. Her left hand is on a flat, black object resting on top of a thick Bible, which belongs to a close family friend.
Harris requested the second Bible prior to Inauguration Day. It belonged to Thurgood Marshall, a former Supreme Court justice who as a civil-rights lawyer argued groundbreaking cases like Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka and Shelley v. Kraemer. In her memoir, Harris called Marshall "one of my heroes and inspirations."
A photo of Harris’ swearing-in ceremony from another angle shows that her left hand is resting on a Bible.
The Facebook post is inaccurate and makes a ridiculous claim. We rate it Pants on Fire!
ABC News, "Harris to be sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor at inauguration," Jan. 16, 2021
AP Images, accessed Jan. 22, 2021
Associated Press, "Biden’s Bible puts him in line with inaugural tradition," Jan. 20, 2021
Associated Press, "Kamala Harris rested hand on Bibles, not a purse, during oath," Jan. 21, 2021
CrowdTangle, accessed Jan. 22, 2021
Facebook post, Jan. 21, 2021
Kamala Harris, "The Truths We Hold: An American Journey"
Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, VICE PRESIDENT’S SWEARING-IN CEREMONY
KPIX-TV, "VP Harris Sworn In On Thurgood Marshall’s Bible And Another One Close To Her Heart," Jan. 20, 2021
Oyez, Thurgood Marshall
Reuters, "Fact check: Kamala Harris did rest her hand on the Bible when sworn in as vice president," Jan. 22, 2021
Read About Our Process
In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.