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Obama Picks Sotomayor for Supreme Court Slot

The jurist is hard to pigeonhole.
 
 
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President Barack Obama has chosen Sonia Sotomayor as his choice to succeed Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court and will announce her nomination Tuesday at 10:15 AM ET.

An Administration official confirmed the report around 8:20 AM ET to CBS’ Mark Knoller.

“Six people were known to be under consideration by Obama,” MSNBC notes. “U.S. Appeals Court judges Diane Wood and Sonia Sotomayor, Solicitor General Elena Kagan, Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and California Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno.”

VIA AP:

NY judge rises from projects to the Supreme Court

Plucky Manhattan jurist Sotomayer finds spotlight appealing, even under brightest lights

LARRY NEUMEISTER
AP News

May 26, 2009 07:37 EST

Sonia Sotomayor's path to the pinnacle of the legal profession began in the 1960s at a Bronx housing project just a couple blocks from Yankee Stadium, where she and her family dealt with one struggle after another.

She suffered juvenile diabetes that forced her to start insulin injections at age 8. Her father died the next year, leaving her to be raised by her mother — a nurse at a methadone clinic who always kept a pot of rice and beans on the stove. The parents had immigrated from Puerto Rico.

Sotomayor immersed herself in Nancy Drew books and spent hours watching Perry Mason on television, and knew she wanted to be a judge by the age of 10 after being inspired by a Perry Mason episode that ended with the camera settling on the robed sage.

"I realized that the judge was the most important player in that room," Sotomayor said in a 1998 interview with The Associated Press.

Now, Sotomayor is one of the most important players in the nation after being nominated for a Supreme Court seat by President Barack Obama. It is the crowning accomplishment in a career that included a long list of achievements: Yale Law School; a stint as a prosecutor and at a Manhattan law firm; a key ruling in 1995 that brought Major League Baseball back to the nation after a strike; and most recently a job as a federal appeals judge.

The Manhattan-born Sotomayor's humble upbringing has shaped her personality — vibrant and colorful, and so different from the Bronx projects where she grew up in a working-class existence in a home with a drab yellow kitchen. She is a food-loving baseball buff as likely to eat a hot dog at a street corner stand as she is to sit down for a lengthy meal at a swanky Manhattan restaurant.

Her work and everything else in her life are sure to face close scrutiny in the months ahead in a process Sotomayor is all too familiar with. Her nomination to the appeals court was delayed 15 months, reportedly because of concerns by Republicans that she might someday be considered for the Supreme Court.

"I don't think anybody looked at me as a woman or as a Hispanic and said, `We're not going to appoint her because of those characteristics.' Clearly that's not what occurred," she recalled in the 1998 interview.

"But I do believe there are gender and ethnic stereotypes that propel people to assumptions about what they expected me to be," she continued. "I obviously felt that any balanced view of my work would not support some of the allegations being made."

Her baseball ruling in 1995 was among the most important moments of her career. Because of her position on the bench in New York, she was put in the position to essentially decide the future of the sport she so loved.

 
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