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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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