Sonia Sotomayor, Next Supreme Court Justice

May 26, 2009

President Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic nominee for the highest court,  will certainly also become the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice.  She is expected to sail through the confirmation process.

From President Obama's nominating speech:
After completing this exhaustive process, I've decided to nominate an inspiring woman who I believe will make a great justice, Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the great state of New York.

Over a distinguished career that spans three decades, Judge Sotomayor has worked at almost every level of our judicial system, providing her with a depth of experience and a breadth of perspective that will be invaluable as a Supreme Court justice.
It's a measure of her qualities and her qualifications that Judge Sotomayor was nominated to the U.S. District Court by a Republican president, George H.W. Bush, and promoted to the Federal Court of Appeals by a Democrat, Bill Clinton.

Walking in the door, she would bring more experience on the bench and more varied experience on the bench than anyone currently serving on the United States Supreme Court had when they were appointed.

But as impressive and meaningful as Judge Sotomayor's sterling credentials in the law is her own extraordinary journey. Born in the South Bronx, she was raised in a housing project not far from Yankee Stadium, making her a lifelong Yankees fan. I hope this will not disqualify her in the eyes of the New Englanders in the Senate.

Sonia's parents came to New York from Puerto Rico during Second World War. Her mother is part of the Women's Army Corps. And, in fact, her mother's here today, and I'd like us all to acknowledge Sonia's mom.

Sonia's mom has been a little choked up.

But she — Sonia's mother began a family tradition of giving back to this country.

Sonia's father was a factory worker with a third-grade education who didn't speak English.

But like Sonia's mother, he had a willingness to work hard, a strong sense of family, and a belief in the American dream.

When Sonia was 9, her father passed away, and her mother worked six days a week as a nurse to provide for Sonia and her brother — who's also here today, is a doctor, and a terrific success in his own right — but Sonia's mom bought the only set of encyclopedias in the neighborhood, sent her children to a Catholic school called Cardinal Spellman, out of the belief that with a good education here in America all things are possible.

With the support of family, friends and teachers, Sonia earned scholarships to Princeton, where she graduated at the top of her class, and Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, stepping onto the path that led her here today.

Along the way, she's faced down barriers, overcome the odds, and lived out the American dream that brought her parents here so long ago. And even as she has accomplished so much in her life, she has never forgotten where she began, never lost touch with the community that supported her.

What Sonia will bring to the court, then, is not only the knowledge and experience acquired over a course of a brilliant legal career, but the wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life's journey.

It's my understanding that Judge Sotomayor's interest in the law was sparked as a young girl by reading the Nancy Drew series.

And that when she was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 8, she was informed that people with diabetes can't grow up to be police officers or private investigators like Nancy Drew. In essence she was told she'd have to scale back her dreams.

Well, Sonia, what you've shown in your life is that it doesn't matter where you come from, what you look like or what challenges life throws your way, no dream is beyond reach in the United States of America.

And when Sonia Sotomayor ascends those marble steps to assume her seat on the highest court in the land, America will have taken another important step toward realizing the ideal that is etched about its entrance: Equal justice under the law.
You can read the text of Judge Sonia Sotomayor's Speech (and listen to it too).

I like this quote from President Obama: "... no dream is beyond reach in the United States of America."


cactus said...

It would be interesting to know if Judge Sotomayor has expressed any views regarding the legal / political / constitutional status of Puerto Rico, which might be relevant to the situation of the CNMI.

I have not heard of any place where she got into these kinds of issues directly, although as a law student at Yale she apparently published an article arguing for 200-mile submerged land rights for Puerto Rico, in the event of its becoming a state.

Anonymous said...

You can take the woman off the island, but you can't take the island out of the woman.

Anonymous said...

Did not somebody predict before or shortly after Obama took office, that one of the upcoming nominees would be Hispanic?? And also to what direction they would be leaning? If so that was a knowledgeable insight.

The Saipan Blogger said...

Of course her nomination will sail through. We have 60 Senators on our side. The Republicans don't get a filibuster.

Anonymous said...

"The Republicans don't get a filibuster" and it just irritates the hell out of FOX NEWS.