President Obama’s historic nomination of Judge Sotomayor based in substance and merit

If confirmed, President Barack Obama’s historic nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor would mark the first time an Hispanic has been appointed to the highest court in the land and the third time that a woman has become a Supreme Court Justice. Her nomination is one that is based in substance and merit. Judge Sotomayor is a great justice, not just for the Latino community or for women, but for the entire country.

She brings diverse experience to the courtroom, having been a big-city prosecutor, a corporate litigator, a federal trial judge on the U.S. District Court, and an appellate judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Moreover, she has a track record of transcending political partisanship. She was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H.W. Bush and promoted to the Second Circuit by President Bill Clinton in 1998.



Judge Sotomayor’s story personifies the American dream for Latinos and for all Americans. She was born of Puerto Rican parents in South Bronx, New York and was raised in a public housing project. Her mother sacrificed and worked hard to buy her daughter a set of encyclopedias and send her to Catholic school. This commitment to education and hard work took root in Sonia, who graduated as valedictorian of her high school class and won a scholarship to Princeton University where she graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. At Yale Law School, she served as an editor of The Yale Law Journal. Through the hard work and sacrifice of her mother and her own hard work, Judge Sotomayor has risen to prominence and achieved the American Dream. As a result of her grit and perseverance, she has been nominated to the nation’s highest court; Judge Sotomayor’s story is inspiring for all Americans.

It has taken an average of 73.8 days for the last nine Supreme Court Justices to be confirmed after their nominations. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was confirmed in just 50 days, and Justice John Roberts was confirmed in 72. President Obama has asked for the Senate to confirm Judge Sotomayor before the August recess (72 days from today) so that she may have enough time to prepare and fully engage when the court convenes in September to select the cases that will be heard this year.

By nominating someone with the experience, background, and superb legal credentials of Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama has made an excellent choice for the entire country. The President wanted a justice who not only is a respected jurist, but also understands how the law affects the lives of everyday people. Judge Sotomayor embodies those qualities. We commend President Obama for making this historic nomination and for recognizing that excellence and diversity are not mutually exclusive. We now call on the Senate to vote in the affirmative for Judge Sotomayor. She has already been confirmed twice by the Senate in previous appointments in 1992 and 1998. We trust that these past confirmations will make the Senate’s deliberations smooth and swift.

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