Although it is traditional for members of Congress to be sworn into office with a hand on the Bible, there is nothing preventing individuals from reciting the oath using something else.
A handful of incoming lawmakers have opted for other religious or secular documents over the years — including U.S. Rep. Robert Garcia (D-CA), who is set to be sworn in this week. Ahead of the start of the new legislative session, he revealed that he would be using a collection of documents, including a valuable “Superman” comic book, to take his oath.
Media interest in the story began when a congressional reporter noticed that the comic book was included among the books that legislators would be using for the swearing-in ceremonies.
Although early reports did not reveal which lawmakers planned to use the copy of the first-ever “Superman” comic book, Garcia confirmed it was him in a tweet.
Will be proudly sworn-in to Congress on the U.S. Constitution. Underneath the Constitution will be 3 items that mean a lot to me personally. A photo of my parents who I lost to covid, my citizenship certificate & an original Superman #1 from the @librarycongress. 🇺🇸😊 pic.twitter.com/YGW43OLsIp
— Robert Garcia (@RobertGarcia) January 3, 2023
He explained that the comic book, one copy of which was sold for more than $5 million at auction, came from the Library of Congress. It was published in 1939, just one year after the world was introduced to Superman in the coveted “Action Comics #1” book.
The California Democrat has previously confirmed his affinity for comic books and has indicated that he wants to display some of his favorites inside of his office on Capitol Hill.
Garcia, a native of Peru who became the first openly LGBTQ immigrant elected to the House, also included a copy of the U.S. Constitution, his citizenship certificate, and a photo of his late parents among the documents he planned to use.
A spokesperson for the congressman offered a statement about the unusual inclusion of a comic book in the ceremony, asserting that he would be “sworn in on the Constitution,” which would be accompanied by the other documents.
“With him, he will be bringing a photo of his parents who he lost to COVID, his citizenship certificate, and an original ‘Superman No. 1,’” said Sara Guerrero. “Congressman Garcia learned to read and write in English by reading Superman comics so it’s especially exciting he was able to borrow this rare copy from the kind folks at the Library of Congress.”