Sotomayor for the Supreme Court

Today, President Obama announced that he has selected Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit to be his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, replacing retiring Justice David Souter.

If confirmed, Judge Sotomayor would bring a wealth of experience to the High Court, having worked not only as a prosecutor and later as an attorney in private practice, but also having served as a federal trial court judge (nominated by the first President Bush) before being confirmed to the Second Circuit. A top graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School, Judge Sotomayor would be the first Latina on the Supreme Court, and only the third woman.

We applaud President Obama’s historic nomination of Sonia Sotomayor. While CAC’s review of Judge Sotomayor’s record is continuing, we already know that she is a brilliant lawyer who is committed to ruling based on the Constitution and the law, not on her own personal political views. Indeed, in her Second Circuit confirmation hearing, Judge Sotomayor could not have been more clear about this, stating “I don’t believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should do honor to it.” And in a recent dissenting opinion, Judge Sotomayor wrote very clearly that “The duty of a judge is to follow the law, not to question its plain terms.”

The next Supreme Court Justice will have a critical voice in important decisions involving the Constitution’s text, history and core principles. She will help decide cases regarding constitutional rights and liberties and constitutional challenges to laws that matter to the lives of everyday Americans — including cases involving voting rights, pay equity, and health, safety, and the environment. In Judge Sotomayor, we believe President Obama has found a nominee who will help ensure that the Constitution and laws are faithfully applied and remain true to their intended purpose as guardians of our rights, liberties, and equality.

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