WASHINGTON Elena Kagan became the fourth female justice in history on Saturday and the 112th Supreme Court member after President Barack Obama won Senate approval for his second appointment to the high court.
Kagan, formerly Obama's solicitor general in arguing U.S. government cases before the Supreme Court, was sworn in by her new colleague, Chief Justice John Roberts, at the court.
He administered the constitutional and then the judicial oath in a ceremony attended by a small gathering of Kagan's family and friends.
After the oath was given, Roberts welcomed Kagan to the court.
For the first time, the nine-member court will have three women as Kagan joins Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was Obama's first appointee, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The 50-year-old Kagan, a former dean of Harvard Law School and a White House lawyer and policy adviser during Bill Clinton's presidency, won Senate approval on Thursday by a 63-37 vote for the lifetime judicial appointment.
Kagan, who fills the vacancy created by the retirement of liberal Justice John Paul Stevens, is not expected to change the ideological balance of power on the court, which for years has been dominated by a five-member conservative majority.
Her formal investiture ceremony will take place October 1 at the Supreme Court, three days before the justices return to the bench for their new term. The court is now on its regular summer recess.
(Reporting by James Vicini; Editing by Chris Wilson)