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Oaks sworn in to Maryland Senate on a smartphone

Technology touches nearly every aspect of life, so it was only a matter of time before it showed up in a swearing-in ceremony.

Nathaniel Oaks is sworn into the Maryland Senate by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. At the far right of the photo is former Sen. Larry Young. (The Daily Record / Bryan P. Sears)

Nathaniel Oaks is sworn into the Maryland Senate by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. At the far right of the photo is former Sen. Larry Young. (The Daily Record / Bryan P. Sears)

Such was the case for Nathaniel Oaks, who cast his last votes in the House of Delegates this morning and his first votes in the Maryland Senate a short time later.

Oaks, D-Baltimore, was appointed Friday to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Sen. Lisa Gladden, who vacated her seat for health reasons in January after 14 years.

The new senator forgot to bring a Bible so City Council President Bernard “Jack” Young came to the rescue and pulled up a verse — Proverbs 17 — on his smartphone.

Oaks, who was also joined by former Sen. Larry Young, did not place his hand on the phone but Young held it in front of him as Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. swore in the new member.

Oaks appointment and swearing-in gives the Senate a full compliment of 47 members for the first time since midway through the 2016 session.

The use of a Bible for swearing-in ceremonies is more tradition than requirement. The lack of a printed copy or the use of a smartphone has no bearing on the legality of the ceremony.

And the photo and fun fact to know and tell did give rise to one of the funniest captions on social media courtesy of Anne Neal, a legal recruiter and subscriber of The Daily Record who wrote: “In the name of the Father, the Son and the iOS.”

And in honor of Oaks who can always be heard during floor sessions loudly ending morning prayer in the House, we say “Amen.”


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