Noting that Second Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor embodies the bipartisanship, range of experience, intellect and ability for empathy that he’s been looking for, President Obama this morning nominated what would be, if confirmed, the first Hispanic judge and third woman ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Sotomayor “would bring more experience on the bench, and more varied experience. . . than any current justice on the Supreme Court had when they walked in the door,” Obama said in his speech announcing the nomination.
“Sonia’s father was a factory worker with a 3rd grade education who didn’t speak English” and who passed away when his daughter was just nine years old. Noting that her mother then worked six days a week as a nurse, and “bought the only set of encyclopedias in the neighborhood” for her children, Obama, countering the scurrilous anonymous attacks that have been made on her intellect, pointed out that Sonia “earned scholarships to Princeton, where she graduated at top of her class,” and to Yale law school, where she was editor of the Yale Law Journal.
“She’s faced down barriers, overcome the odds, lived out the American dream,” said Obama. Sonia will bring to the court not only knowledge and experience but the wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life’s journey,” proving, much as Obama’s presidency itself did for many, that “no dream is beyond reach in the United States of America.”
Sotomayor, for her part, gave a moving acceptance speech in which she thanked her mother, saying “I am all I am because of her, and I am only half the woman she is.”
As a judge, she said, “I strive never to forget the real world consequences of my decisions.”
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