Saturday, April 20, 2024

Latina on Shortlist for Souter's Replacement

Supreme Court Justice David Souter has reportedly told friends that he plans to retire, giving President Obama his first chance to reshape the nation’s highest court. It is speculated that a woman will be Souter’s replacement since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the lone female among the nine justices.

Souter, who is 69 – despite being appointed by the first President Bush – is part of the court’s liberal wing. The New Hampshire native would likely to stay on until a replacement is confirmed. The court’s next term starts in October.

In 2007, Obama suggested he’d take personal considerations into account in selecting judges, “We need somebody who’s got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it’s like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it’s like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that’s the criteria by which I’m going to be selecting my judges.”

Among names mentioned on the short-list of nominees is a Latina, Judge Sonia Sotomayor of New York. The Bronx native of Puerto Rican descent is a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals.

Appointed to the U.S. District Court in 1991 by President George H.W. Bush, Sotomayor was nominated to the appeals court by President Clinton. Most recently, Sotomayor was floated by a group of Democratic senators as a possible replacement for Sandra Day O’Connor, a seat that eventually went to Justice Samuel Alito.

Sotomayor already has two prominent backers: Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) wrote Obama a letter earlier this month suggesting Sotomayor or Interior Secretary Ken Salazar be tapped as the nation’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.

If nominated and confirmed, she will become the first Hispanic and third woman to ever serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

White House advisers have been drafting lists of potential replacements since Obama took office, and the list is said to also include Stanford University law professor Kathleen M. Sullivan, Kim McLane Wardlaw of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm and Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears.


Washington Post

The Hill


  1. Alex Rodriguez says

    Congratulations to the Dewey Square Group on beginning this Lationovation web site. I know some of your staff and this is just what I would expect from them.

    I write to applaud your advocacy for Sonia Sotomayor not only because she is a scholar and has been a great Justice on the 2nd District and Appeals Court but because my wife Bettie Baca and I have known Sonia since we met in Israel 23 years ago and we can attest to her great character. A measure of her character is that she used the reception at her swearing in to the Appeals Court, not to celebrate herself but to marry her windowed mother to her present husband Omar. Sonia performed the wedding.

    Sonia has become a dear friend and member of our family over the last 23 years and her elevation to the Supreme Court will be well deserved. As former NYC District Attorney Robert M. Morgenthau has said; “…to be sure, she is in favor of civil rights, in the sense that she believes there should be no discrimination against minorities. And she understands poverty, and does seem to favor government action that will provide a safety net to the poor. Those are, however, not exactly radical positions.

    As is very evident from the opinions she has written, Judge Sotomayor believes in the rule of law. Some notice that she is Hispanic and female, and would typecast her as an “activist.” But I look at her record, and see an able champion of the law serving with great distinction on the second most important appellate court in the world. Judge Sotomayor is highly qualified for any position in which wisdom; intelligence, collegiality and good character would be assets.”

    I couldn’t agree more.

    Alex Rodriguez
    Annandale, VA

    (Former Chairman Massachusetts Commission against Discrimination)