Today was Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s first day at her new job on the Supreme Court. Sotomayor’s appointment to the highest court by the first president of African and European descent represents a move toward making the highest court mirror the Americans impacted by their rulings. When President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor he took a major step toward making the court look like America – diverse – that melting pot.
America is a nation of diverse cultures and ethnic groups and a culturally diverse Supreme Court gives the court insight it otherwise would not have. Regardless of your political views the idea of a court that mirrors our nation’s population should be welcomed.
Sotomayor brings impeccable credentials to her new post – Sotomayor’s credentials are impressive. She served as a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She is also a Lecturer at Columbia University Law School and was also an adjunct professor at New York University Law School.
Sotomayor’s story is also impressive: “Judge Sonia Sotomayor has lived the American dream. Born to a Puerto Rican family, she grew up in a public housing project in the South Bronx. Her parents moved to New York during World War II – her mother served in the Women’s Auxiliary Corps during the war. Her father, a factory worker with a third-grade education, died when Sotomayor was nine years old. Her mother, a nurse, then raised Sotomayor and her younger brother, Juan, now a physician in Syracuse. After her father’s death, Sotomayor turned to books for solace, and it was her new found love of Nancy Drew that inspired a love of reading and learning, a path that ultimately led her to the law,” http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/ Background-on-Judge-Sonia-Sotomayor/.
Sotomayer brings experience that her colleagues do not have. In an Associated Press article that appeared in yesterday’s News & Observer, “Supreme Court returns with new face” Mark Sherman notes that “Unlike her colleagues, Sotomayer also has experience as a trial judge.”
There are some who may be concerned about how Sotomayor may rule on hot button cases, but we all must admit that appointing a Latina woman has helped to make the Supreme Court represent the demographics of the US. The Supreme Court is much more diverse and representative of the US population.
I applaud Judge Sotomayor on her new job and wish her well.
Copyright ©Sharon D. Powell, 2009 all rights reserved