Obama to Nominate Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court

May 26, 2009 9:11am

Democratic sources indicate President Obama will announce Judge Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee for the Supreme Court.

If confirmed, the U.S. Court of Appeals judge would beceome the first Latina Supreme Court justice. She would replace the seat vacated by 69-year-old Justice David Souter, who will retire this summer.

Appointed a U.S. district court judge in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush and to the Court of Appeals in 1998 by President Bill Clinton, Sotomayor was born in 1954 in the Bronx. Her parents were born in Puerto Rico.

President Obama — a former constitutional law lecturer — has repeatedly said that he’s seeking a judge who has “empathy” and is able to put himself or herself in the shoes of others.

In a 1998 interview, Sotomayor expressed this very attribute, telling the AP that she was deeply affected by her first judgment of conviction for a drug offender.

“That emotion will never leave me,” she said. “A deep, deep sense of humility. And a deep, deep sense of, ‘There but for the grace of God could I have gone,’ and many that I have loved.”

Conservatives have said that “empathy” is merely code for liberal activism and creating law instead of interpreting it.

HERE is some footage of Sotomayor talking about staying “unemotional” as a judge for video for non-profit The Law School Admission Council.

“It is very important when you judge to recognize that you have to stay impartial. That’s what the nature of my job is. I have to unhook myself from my emotional responses and try to stay within my unemotional objective persona. That process can be very weighty at times. Certainly it can be very awe inspiring in others," Sotomayor says in the video.

More on the story HERE.

If confirmed, Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any Justice in 100 years.

Sotomayor, a Princeton and Yale Law School alumni, was twice confirmed by the Senate.    

Sources say Obama called her last night to give her the news. He interviewed her on Thursday in the Oval Office and she drove down from New York City on that day with a friend dodging reporters.

She spent seven hours in the White House meeting with Obama and his staff.

– jpt

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