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Sonia Sotomayor becomes the 11th Supreme Court Justice of the United States

Sunday, August 9, 2009

In what is unarguably a big win for Barack Obama's administration, 55 year old Sonia Sotomayor took the oath of office as the first hispanic Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. In a ceremony that was the very first to be televised for a Supreme court nominee, Sonia was sworn in as the 11th associate Justice. Under U.S. law, their is only one Chief Justice of the United States, John Roberts, and he administered the judicial oath to her in the court's wood-paneled East Conference Room. The ceremonial oath was given, along with a constitutional oath that is also a requirement for her to assume her new duties.

On hand to witness the entire moment, her mother Celina held the ceremonial Bible, along with the presence of her brother Juan Sotomayor. The following video was taken as she took the Oath for Justice of the United states.

Biography of Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor was born on June 25, 1954 in New York City. She was raised in the South Bronx by working class parents and is of Puerto Rican descent.

Despite her working class background, she attended Princeton University and graduated summa cum laude in 1976. With her stellar credentials, she had her pick of law schools to attend and chose to go to Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal. Upon graduation in 1979, she worked as an Assistant District Attorney in New York County. Then, she moved on to private practice, working several years for the law firm Pavia & Harcourt. She married while at Princeton, but divorced in 1983.

In 1991, Sotomayor was nominated by President George H. W. Bush to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was the first Hispanic federal judge in New York. She was confirmed by the Senate in 1992.

In 1997, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, and confirmed by the Senate in 1998.

For much of her career, she was considered a moderate, hence her appointments by both a Republican and Democratic President. Today, conservatives tend to view her as a judicial activist and a liberal.

For months, she has been named by numerous media outlets, including CNN and Esquire Magazine, as a virtual shoe-in for nomination to the Supreme Court with the retirement of David Souter and the likely retirement of several aging Supreme Court justices (John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and possibly others).

Sotomayor’s appointment seems to make sense for Barack Obama. She would be a liberal, pro-choice justice who would maintain the judicial majority that opposes the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Further, by nominating a Hispanic woman, Obama would potentially gain standing within the Hispanic communities.

Since Obama will likely appoint two if not three Supreme Court justices over the next four years, and has a substantial Democratic majority in the Senate to confirm them, conservatives hoping to overturn Roe v. Wade likely have a VERY LONG wait ahead of them.

Watch the following video on what Obama believes about Supreme Court appointments:


Obama on Supreme Court Appointments - Video

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