It's about time
Elinor Tatum | 4/12/2011, 4:41 p.m.
Congratulations, President Obama: You have nominated a wonderful candidate for the Supreme Court of these United States.
Finally, there will be a reasonable voice of color to temper that of Clarence Thomas, the person who is supposed to have our best interests at heart, yet votes with the most conservative of the lot.
Sonia Sotomayor is that reasonable voice. She is a child of New York, born and raised in the Bronx. She attended Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx, where she was valedictorian. She then received her BA from Princeton University and her JD from Yale Law School.
In her early years as a young lawyer, she practiced law under the tutelage of Robert Morgethau as assistant district attorney in the Manhattan DA's office. She then was appointed to the bench of the U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, where she served until 1998 and became a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where she continues to serve today.
She is the child of Celina, a single mother who toiled six days a week to provide for her two children and make sure they got a chance. She is not just a lawyer and a judge, but a Latina woman.
Like Barack and Michelle Obama, Sotomayor will change the way America sees an individual of a different hue. She will change the way Latinas are looked at and how Latinas look at themselves. She will open up the eyes of young girls and boys to see that they, too, can do anything they set their sights on.
There is still the confirmation ahead and all of those right-wingers who will try--and fail, I might add--to make sure this confirmation does not happen. But indeed, it will. She has already been fully vetted before, when she was appointed to the Southern District and the Court of Appeals.
There are code words that these right-wingers will use to try to detract from this woman's stellar career. But prevail she will. She will be only the third woman to sit on the highest court of this land.She is the first Latina to sit on this court, and she will be the first Supreme Court pick of the first Black president of the United States of America.
So now there will be two women on the court. And there will be one Latina and one Black (sort of). We are headed in the right direction, and I know that as a Latina from the Bronx, nothing can stop her.
Let us hope that President Obama has occasion to make other stellar picks and that the Supreme Court really begins to reflect what America has become.
Godspeed in the conformation process and good luck, Judge Sotomayor. America needs you.