Obama Picks Sotomayor for Court

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 26, 2009 7:48 AM CDT
In this Oct. 14, 1998 file photo, federal judge Sonia Sotomayor poses by her office window in New York overlooking the old Federal Courthouse on Foley Square.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama named Sonia Sotomayor his Supreme Court pick this morning, the AP reports, setting the 54-year-old appeals court judge up to be the high court’s first Hispanic justice. Obama noted that she'd "worked at almost every level of our judicial system," saying she had more experience than any current justice had when nominated.  He also emphasized that she was first appointed to the bench by a Republican, George H.W. Bush, and promoted by Bill Clinton.

The president said he wanted to nominate a justice who had not only intellectual firepower but experience in overcoming hardship and barriers, saying her "inspiring life’s journey" from humble beginnings in the South Bronx would lend wisdom to her rulings. Her experience as a trial lawyer—which none of the current justices have—gives her an understanding of how the law affects the everyday lives of Americans. And of course he couldn't resist mentioning the case Sotomayor is best known for, in which she ended the baseball strike in 1995. "Some say that Judge Sotomayor saved baseball," Obama said.