Colleagues See Sotomayor as 'Even-Handed,' 'Brilliant'

Daughter of immigrants rose from Bronx project
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted May 26, 2009 10:13 AM CDT
Federal judge Sonia Sotomayor poses by her office window in New York in this 1998 photo.   (AP Photo)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – The daughter of Puerto Rican immigrants whose father died when she was 9, Sonia Sotomayor will bring more than a stellar legal resume to her Supreme Court confirmation hearings, the Washington Post reports. She worked her way out of projects in the Bronx to graduate from Princeton and Yale Law, where a former classmate says Sotomayor “was tenacious … absolutely brilliant.”

After graduating, Sotomayor worked for the Manhattan district attorney, then as a private litigator—where her employer recalls her as “liberal without being a flaming type of do-gooder” and “far too rational, far too interested in the underlying facts” to be called “wild-eyed.” She was named a district judge by the first President Bush, and a federal appeals judge by President Clinton.