Nominee may be a first

May 26, 2009
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President Barack Obama has chosen who he thinks is the right person for the U.S. Supreme Court: 2nd District Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Baseball fans may recognize her name because she was the District judge who issued the injunction against Major League Baseball owners, effectively ending the baseball strike that led to the cancellation of the World Series in 1994.

What is more noteworthy than her being the person who saved baseball is that if confirmed, she’d be the first Hispanic to take the bench on the nation’s highest court.

What strikes me about Judge Sotomayor is her sort of “rags to riches” story. Her background is one that many Americans can relate to, even if they didn’t attend prestigious Ivy League schools for undergraduate and law studies.

The judge’s Puerto Rican parents came to New York during World War II; her father died when she was nine, leaving her mother to raise her and her brother alone. Judge Sotomayor received a scholarship to Princeton University for her undergraduate degree and then earned her J.D. from Yale Law School.

In his remarks about Judge Sotomayor, Obama said he selected her not only for her intellect and recognition of the limits of the judicial role, but also for her life experience. The judge would bring more judicial experience and a varied experience than anyone currently serving on the Supreme Court when they were appointed. The president also noted she would replace Justice David Souter as the only justice with experience as a trial judge.

What do you think of Judge Sotomayor for the Supreme Court? What are the chances she’ll be confirmed and if so, how will she affect the court?
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  • She is very likely to be confirmed unless there is a smoking gun discovered which causes her to lose support.

    Her confirmation is not likely to change the Supreme Court very much as she is replacing David Souter who has been a solid liberal vote for many years.

    She would not be the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court -- Benjamin Cardozo was -- a descendant of Portuguese (also Hispanic).

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