Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat Monday

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Ca., Harris questions Attorney General William Barr as he testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 1. (Washington Post photo by Jahi Chikwendiu)

Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will resign her Senate seat Monday, Jan. 18, 2021, stepping down four years after she was elected California’s junior senator.

Aides said Harris has already begun the formal process, notifying California Governor and longtime ally Gavin Newsom of her intentions. Newsom has already said he will name California Secretary of State Alex Padilla to Harris’s seat.

Harris is scheduled to be sworn in alongside President-elect Joe Biden on Wednesday in an outdoor ceremony on the steps of the heavily armored Capitol Building. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of color named to the nation’s highest court, will swear in Harris, according to an aide.

Harris will make use of two Bibles in the ceremony – one belonging to her longtime hero, former Supreme Court justice Thurgood Marshall, and the other belonging to Regina Shelton, a family friend who served as a second mother to Harris during her childhood.

Harris spent much of her time in the Senate opposing President Donald Trump’s legislation and appointees.

While in the Senate, Harris made a name for herself interrogating Trump nominees like Jeff Sessions, Brett Kavanaugh and William Barr. She introduced a variety of bills to address racial inequities in the criminal justice system, health care and education, and advocated rent relief and tax credits for the middle class.

Harris is one of three Black senators. She is one of just two Black women to ever serve in the Senate, and many activists urged Newsom to choose a Black woman replace her.

But Newsom instead chose Padilla, who will become the first Latino senator from California, a state with a population that is roughly 40 percent Latino. The state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, has also been nominated by Biden to direct the Department of Health and Human Services.

Padilla will be up for re-election in 2022 along with California’s senior senator, 87-year-old Dianne Feinstein.

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