Fact check: Kamala Harris did rest her hand on the Bible when sworn in as vice president 

Kamala Harris is sworn in as Vice President as her spouse Doug Emhoff holds a bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at in Washington, U.S., January 20, 2021. Saul Loeb/Pool via REUTERS

Users on social media are making the claim that U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris did not place her hand on the Bible but on a purse or a glove when sworn in on Jan. 20, invalidating her oath. This is false, as other angles show she had her hand on a Bible.

Posts with this claim can be seen  here , here and here . Comments include: “Let me swear on my handbag instead of the Bible!” and “She couldn’t even bring herself to touch that Bible. Her hands not on it. Look closely.”

Most of the iterations include a cropped side photo of Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff during the ceremony (similar to this one  here ) .  The confusion may have stemmed from the zipper visible on one of the two bibles used by Harris during the ceremony, which had a black leather case.

While this angle does not clearly show she is resting her hand on a bible, other footage does  ( here , here l ). A Reuters photo provides a closer look,  here .

Kamala Harris used two Bibles in the ceremony. One that belonged to Regina Shelton, a close family friend ( here ) and another one owned by late justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice ( here ).

As reported by ABC News here , Harris also used Shelton’s bible when sworn in for California Attorney General (, here ) and the U.S. Senate (see timestamp 00:59 here ).


False. Footage shows Kamala Harris did rest her hand on the Bible when sworn in as vice president.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts  here  .