Most federal judges live anonymous lives, but for a moment in 1995, Sonia Sotomayor was the toast of the town. That was the year Sotomayor ended baseball’s players strike, saving the ’95 season. The Philadelphia Inquirer declared her a baseball hero on par with DiMaggio, Robinson, Mays, and Williams. Now, she’s near the top of President Obama’s shortlist to replace David Souter, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Sotomayor is much-admired for her tendency to question lawyers vigorously before issuing clear, forceful, reasoned decisions. She ended the baseball strike by ruling decisively for the players, saying the owners had “placed the entire concept of collective bargaining on trial.” Having grown up in a Bronx housing project, Sotomayor also boasts an appealing rags-to-bench story, and would be the first Hispanic justice.