President Obama nominated federal Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday, citing her “inspiring life story” and “distinguished career” in his decision.
Sotomayor, 54, would be the first Hispanic on the high court if confirmed. She would succeed Justice David Souter, who is retiring.
The president, in his announcement, said he was looking for a justice with a “common touch and a sense of compassion” as well as experience and depth of knowledge. He said Sotomayor, who grew up in a Bronx housing project and has an extensive judicial background, would come to the Supreme Court bench with more varied experience than anyone currently on the court.
Sotomayor, who said she was “deeply moved” by the president’s decision, called herself an “ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.”
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Obama called Sotomayor an “inspiring woman who I believe will be a great justice.”
“Judge Sotomayor has worked at almost every level of our judicial system, providing her with a depth of experience and breadth of perspective that will be invaluable as a Supreme Court justice,” Obama said.