DennisMelancon, this post is copied entirely from another source — and the story has already been posted several times to NowPublic in the past day.
Obama Nominates Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court
story by D. Mark Melancon - The American Times
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, selecting a woman who would be the court's first Hispanic justice and a liberal who is unlikely to change its ideological balance. Sotomayor, 54, is a U.S. appeals court judge who grew up in a public housing project in New York City and is the daughter of Puerto Rican parents. She would replace retiring Justice David Souter, who was part of the court's liberal wing.
"It was an overwhelming experience for a kid from the south Bronx, yet never in my wildest childhood imaginings could I have envisioned that moment, let alone dream that I would live this moment,"
-Judge Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Sotomayor (born June 25, 1954) is a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Sotomayor was raised by a widowed mother since she was nine in the housing projects of the Bronx. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from Princeton in 1976, and received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor at the Yale Law Journal. She worked as an Assistant District Attorney in New York for a time before entering private practice in 1984. She has over thirty years experience in law and is considered a politcal centrist, having been appointed a federal judge by Democrat President Bill Clinton and Republican President George W. Bush. If confirmed, she will be the Supreme Court's first Latina justice.
Words of praise came from former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who said that the nomination "is a powerful message, a powerful message of hope and opportunity of hope through this appointment". With respect to Sotomayor, Gonzales said, "I have no questions in my mind about her qualifications in terms of education, experience. I think he [the President] is obligated to nominate someone who is well qualified, and I think by any measure she is well qualified."
Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele suggested that Republicans will reserve judgment on Sotomayor "until there has been a thorough and thoughtful examination of her legal views," and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said "Senate Republicans will treat Judge Sotomayor fairly, but we will thoroughly examine her record to ensure she understands that the role of a jurist in our democracy is to apply the law even-handedly, despite their own feelings or personal or political preferences." Other Republicans aren't as accepting to Sotomayor's nomination, however. Former Massachusetts Governor and possible Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney called the nomination "troubling" in a released statement and former Republican Presidential hopeful and the founder of the Christian Coalition Pat Robertson, , said “The Republicans have got to take a stand on this one, If they don’t, they can kiss their chances of ever getting back into power away.” Randall Terry, founder of the pro-life group Operation Rescue, urged fellow Republicans to block a Senate vote on Sotomayor saying, “Do GOP leaders have the courage and integrity to filibuster an activist, pro-Roe judge?”
Democrats are unsurprisingly in favor of the nomination. Democratic Senator from Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy, said, "“I strongly support President Obama's historic nomination. Judge Sotomayor's remarkable life story is an inspiring example of the American dream, and she has a highly distinguished legal background. She'll bring intelligence, insight, and experience to the vital work of protecting the fundamental rights and liberties of all Americans. She is eminently qualified for the Supreme Court, and I look forward to her prompt confirmation by the Senate,” and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Democrat Patrick Leahy said he expected Sotomayor to be in the "mold of Justice Souter, who understands the real-world impact of the Court's decisions, rather than the mold of conservative activists who second-guess Congress."
No hearings have been set by the United States Senate as yet, but President Obama has set a deadline for confirmation at the beginning of the recess on August 7, 2009.
The Associated Press, The Washington Post, Reuters, and Wikipedia contributed to this report.