President Obama will nominate Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as his first appointment to the court, officials said Tuesday, and has scheduled an announcement for 10:15 a.m. at the White House.
If confirmed by the Democratic-controlled Senate, Judge Sotomayor, 54, would replace Justice David H. Souter to become the second woman on the court and only the third female justice in the history of the Supreme Court. She also would be the first Hispanic justice to serve on the Supreme Court.
The Washington Post reports:
Sonia Sotomayor's journey to a seat on the prestigious U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit began in a public housing project in the Bronx in the 1950s, as the neighborhood was changing from majority white to predominantly Puerto Rican.
Sotomayor's father died when she was 9, leaving her mother to raise her and her brother alone on a nurse's salary. But her mother instilled in the two children a strong ethic of hard work and the importance of education. After graduating from a Catholic high school, Sotomayor attended Princeton University, where she graduated summa cum laude, and then Yale Law School.
At Yale, her classmates recall a young woman with a brilliant legal mind who was tough when arguing for her views. And although they said she never forgot her modest background, and always identified with the disadvantaged, her main passion was for the law, not a particular political agenda.
In what may be her best-known ruling, Judge Sotomayor issued an injunction against major league baseball owners in April 1995, effectively ending a baseball strike of nearly eight months, the longest work stoppage in professional sports history, which had led to the cancellation of the World Series for the first time in 90 years.