News

New congressman to be sworn in on rare Superman comic instead of religious text

Kevin McCarthy fails to win House speakership

Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy was on a quest to become House Speaker on Tuesday (3 January), which led to an open revolt in the House chamber and several rounds of voting that threw the new GOP majority into mayhem.

But once the US House Republicans elect a speaker and swear in new representatives, Robert Garcia (D-Ca.) will be sworn in on the Constitution and the original 1939 Superman comic instead of the Bible.

In a report from The Washington Post, Garcia, a comic book enthusiast and former Long Beach mayor was supposed to be sworn in on Tuesday.

Taking to his official Twitter account, he shared the three items that "personally" have significance to him that will be included in his swearing-in ceremony.

"A photo of my parents who I lost to Covid, my citizenship certificate & an original Superman #1 from the @libraryofcongress," he tweeted, in part, alongside the cherished mementos.

Sign upto our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Superman #1 was the first issue of the superhero comic that was published in 1939. It came a year after the character debuted in Action comics.

When Garcia was five-years-old, he immigrated from Lima, Peru, to California with his family.

His mother, a healthcare worker, and stepfather died of covid-19 in 2020 while he was a mayor.

His campaign website noted that the deaths of parents prompted him to expand vaccination and testing efforts in his city.

And despite the Superman comic seeming out of place compared to the other documents, Garcia has explained the deeper meaning behind the comic.

In 2021, DC Comicsconfirmed that the new Superman was bisexual, and Garcia, an openly gay man, said he "became a Superman fan as a kid because I related to him. An immigrant, a sense of justice, and a secret identity."

Elsewhere, it's worth noting that the Superman comic being used for an oath of office is legal.

According to Article VI of the Constitution, elected officials don't have to use a Bible, and "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)