We join the American Latino Museum in wishing a very happy birthday to Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor.
A Nuyorican from the Bronx, Sonia Sotomayor was raised by working class, Puerto Rico-born parents. Sotomayor’s father passed away when she was nine, and she was deeply inspired by her mother’s efforts to maintain her children as a head of household. After graduating as high school valedictorian, Sotomayor studied at Princeton University, where she became a vocal activist for greater minority admissions and faculty recruitment. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton, and was admitted at Yale Law School. During her time there she became an editor of the “Yale Law Journal” and continued her advocacy for minority recruitment at elite educational institutions.
After her years as a law student, Sotomayor excelled as New York County assistant district attorney before going into private practice. She would take up the judge’s mantle in 1991 when President H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, becoming the first Hispanic federal judge in the state and the first Puerto Rican to serve in any U.S. federal court. In 1997, President Clinton nominated Sotomayor to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, where she served as judge for 10 years. On May 2009, President Obama nominated Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. She was sworn in on August 8 of the same year, becoming the first Hispanic and the third woman to be appointed to the Court. She turns 61 today.
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Also see previous posts Puerto Rican Judge Sonia Sotomayor Nominated for the Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor: The True American Dream, In memoir, Sonia Sotomayor reveals childhood struggles and fighting spirit, 10 Questions for Sonia Sotomayor, and Sonia Sotomayor Draws Hundreds in Puerto Rico for Book Tour.