Sonia Sotomayor will likely be for first Hispanic to serve on the Supreme Court. Republicans won’t have the votes to successfully oppose the nomination, although they’ll certainly try. She was nominated to the Manhattan Federal Court in 1992 by the first President Bush, and was moved up to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals by President Clinton.
Profiled by Michael Saul in the New York Daily News, we learn she was a big fan of Nancy Drew stories and Perry Mason when she was 8. At that age, she was diagnosed with diabetes. That’s when she decided that if she couldn’t do detective work as a police officer, she’d do it as a lawyer. Her parents are Puerto Rican, and she was raised in a Bronx housing project. Her father, a factory worker, died when she was 9. Her mother supported the family, which included her brother, now a doctor, by working at methadone clinics.
She enrolled at Princeton University, an experience she described as the “single most growing event of my life” and graduated summa cum laude in 1976. She earned her law degree at Yale, where she was editor of the law journal.
Sotomayor began her post-college career as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan, working for legendary top prosecutor Robert Morgenthau.
Her job soon became her life. In 1983, she divorced her husband, whom she married while a student at Princeton. The couple had no children and she has not remarried.
Conservatives have already compiled their objections; most notably, a comment she made during a speech at Duke University in 2005, where she said, “The Court of Appeals is where policy is made.” Likely ignored will be that she added, “I’m not promoting it and I’m not advocating it.
Conservatives will also lean on a speech Sotomayor made at the University of California at Berkeley in 1991 where she indicated that race and gender matter when making decisions: “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”
However, try as they might to use this nomination to rally a GOP in need of a cause, they will have a difficult time overcoming President Obama’s first Supreme Court nomination. In fact, if they have any interest in bipartisanship, beyond lip service, this is a battle they’d be wise not to wage.Click here for reuse options!
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