President Obama has nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, and if she's appointed, we'll have our first Latino member of the high court and our third female Justice.
'I have decided to nominate an inspiring woman, who I believe will make a great justice,' Obama said as Sotomayor's nomination was announced at the White House today.
Sotomayor, whose parents moved to the United States from Puerto Rico during World War II, grew up in the Bronx and was raised by her mother in housing projects after her father died, according to The Associated Press. Sotomayer graduated from Princeton University, completed law school at Yale, and later became a judge on the federal district court for the Southern District of New York. She was elevated to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan by President Clinton in 1998.
While Sotomayor has been criticized for being a 'liberal judicial activist' with a personal political agenda ('She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one's sex, race and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench,' Wendy E. Long, court counsel for the Judicial Confirmation Network, said in a statement), many--including me--think her experiences, her ethnicity, and her gender will bring some much-needed diversity to the mostly white, mostly male (right now, there's only one female justice) Supreme Court. Plus, wouldn't it be naive to think a judge's background wouldn't affect her decisions at all?
Another reason to like Sotomayor? She gave credit for her success to another kick-ass woman--her mom. 'My mother has devoted her life to my brother and me,' she said as she was presented for nomination. 'She often worked two jobs to help support us after Dad died. I have often said that I am all I am because of her. And I am only half the woman that she is.'
Read more and watch a video of the nomination ceremony here .--Jax