After a few days away, I came back to some great news this morning. Today President Obama announced his nomination of Sonia Sotomayer as the next Supreme Court Justice. Sotomayer’s nomination is historic: if confirmed, she would be only the second woman on the court and the first Latina. The blogosphere is abuzz with the excitement around this nomination and I must say I couldn’t be more encouraged with Obama’s choice.
From humble beginnings in a housing project in the Bronx, Sotomayer overcame barriers and obstacles to attend Yale Law School and continued on to a prestigious law career in New York.
Sotomayer, whose parents are originally from Puerto Rico, represents the face of New America and the American Dream personified. The following quote from Sotomayer was published in the Spring 2002 issue of Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, a symposium issue entitled “Raising the Bar: Latino and Latina Presence in the Judiciary and the Struggle for Representation”:
Who am I? I am a “Newyorkrican.” For those of you on the West Coast who do not know what that term means: I am a born and bred New Yorker of Puerto Rican-born parents who came to the states during World War II.
Like many other immigrants to this great land, my parents came because of poverty and to attempt to find and secure a better life for themselves and the family that they hoped to have. They largely succeeded. For that, my brother and I are very grateful. The story of that success is what made me and what makes me the Latina that I am. The Latina side of my identity was forged and closely nurtured by my family through our shared experiences and traditions.
This historic nomination of not only a woman, but a Latina is an inspiring and encouraging move from the administration. It makes me proud.