President Barack Obama has named Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace outgoing Supreme Court Justice David Souter making her the first Hispanic in history picked to wear the robes of a justice.
I have decided to nominate an inspiring woman who I believe will make a great justice, Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the great state of New York, Obama said in a White House event announcing his decision.
Obama, in introducing Ms. Sotomayor at the White House Tuesday morning, praised her sterling legal credentials and distinguished career.
Sotomayor, 54, thanked the president for what she called, “the most humbling honor of her life.” She will be the third woman in history to serve on the nation's highest court. There is currently only one woman on the nine-member high court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Mr. Obama has said he would like Senate confirmation hearings to take place this summer and a confirmation vote in time for his nominee to be seated at the opening of the court's next term, in October.
According to administration officials Sotomayor would bring more judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any justice confirmed in the past 70 years.
Sotomayor is based in New York City. President Clinton appointed her to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals back in 1998. She is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School.
Before becoming an appeals judge, Sotomayor served six years on the federal district bench in New York. She was appointed to that position in 1992 by Republican President George H.W. Bush.
She concluded her introduction with, “I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences, today is one of these experiences.”
Watch a clip of Sonia Sotomayor’s biography below: