President Barack Obama's choice of New York-based federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court should please two key constituencies -- women and Latinos.

Sotomayor, 54, would be the first Hispanic justice and only the third woman to serve on the nation's highest court. She would replace retiring Justice David Souter.

Following are some key facts about her background and rulings:

APPOINTED IN 1991, ELEVATED IN 1998

* Sotomayor was nominated as a trial judge in New York by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 in a deal with the state's U.S. senators. She was elevated to the appeals court in 1998 by President Bill Clinton.

She made headlines as a trial judge in 1995 with an order preventing Major League Baseball from using replacement players, ending a nearly year-long strike.

GREW UP IN THE BRONX, A YANKEE FAN

* A child of Puerto Rican parents, she grew up in a housing project in the Bronx in New York City. She excelled as a student and graduated from Princeton University and then Yale Law School. Sotomayor, an avid fan of the New York Yankees baseball team, is divorced.

RELIABLE LIBERAL VOTE

* Sotomayor is expected to be a reliable liberal vote on the nine-member court, which is closely split, with five conservatives and four liberal justices, on many issues. She sided with New Haven, Connecticut, ruling against white firefighters and saying the city can throw out a promotion exam because it yielded no acceptable black candidates. That case is now before the Supreme Court.

NO MAJOR ABORTION DECISIONS

* As an appeals court judge, Sotomayor has not written any major rulings dealing with abortion but has decided cases involving race, sex, age and disability discrimination, often ruling for the plaintiffs.

She wrote a major environmental law ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency could not use a cost-benefit analysis in regulating cooling water intake structures at power plants to protect aquatic life. That ruling was reversed by the Supreme Court earlier this year.

Her views are expected to be close to those of Souter.