It’s Official: Letitia James Makes History As New York’s 1st Black Attorney General

Contributed by our partners at The Associated Press

Letitia James has been sworn in as New York’s attorney general, becoming the first black woman to hold statewide office.

The 60-year-old Democrat took the oath of office in Albany just before midnight on Monday. James’ inauguration ceremony on Ellis Island took place Tuesday.

James drew applause at her inauguration ceremony when she said she’ll work in a legal system where even the most powerful in the country cannot use a loophole to evade justice. She also said she would protect abortion rights and LGBTQ rights and pursue criminal justice reform.

James also becomes the state’s first black attorney general and is the first woman elected to the position.

Her predecessor, 74-year-old Barbara Underwood, was appointed in May when Eric Schneiderman resigned amid allegations he physically abused women.

Underwood did not seek election and is returning to her former position as the state’s solicitor general.

James, a longtime New York City politician, says she’ll host a series of informal meet and greets across state. She defeated Republican lawyer Keith Wofford in November.