Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Supreme Court Justice Nomination- The Honorable Sonia Sotomayor
With the retirement of Supreme Court Justice David Souter, President Obama has a space on the high court to fill. One of the top prospects is Sonia Sotomayor.
A Puerto Rican woman with 16 years of court experience who currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Sotomayor is a graduate of Yale Law and an editor of the Yale Law Review. She shares a biographical footnote with Souter: they both were appointed by George H. W. Bush -- Sotomayor to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York in 1992. Sotomayor was elevated to the appeals court by President Clinton.
Sotomayor spent five years as a prosecutor with the Manhattan District Attorney before going into private practice as a commercial litigator. During that time she also served on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the New York City Campaign Finance Board, and State of New York Mortgage Agency, where she helped provide mortgage insurance coverage to low-income housing and AIDS hospices.
She left for the U.S. District Court in 1992. At the time, Sotomayor told the New York Times that she was inspired to become a judge by an episode of "Perry Mason."
"I thought, what a wonderful occupation to have," Ms. Sotomayor said. "And I made the quantum leap: If that was the prosecutor's job, then the guy who made the decision to dismiss the case was the judge. That was what I was going to be."
Sotomayor has been considered as a potential Supreme Court Justice by both Republican and Democratic presidents.