America’s First Hispanic Justice

  On August 6, 2009, by a vote of 68 in favor and 31 against, the U.S. Senate approved the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the Federal Court of Appeals for the Supreme Court. The Latino woman who was born in a New York slum has become the 111th justice in the 220-year history of the U.S. Supreme Court. At the same time, she will also become the first Hispanic Supreme Court justice in U.S. history and the third woman to hold the position.
  Sotomayor, 55, is the son of Puerto Rican parents. She grew up in government-provided public housing for low-income residents in the Bronx, New York’s poorest area. His father, a factory worker with only three years of education, died when Sotomayor was nine. Her mother works as a nurse six days a week, sending her two young children to private schools. At an early age, Sotomayor’s mother instilled Sotomayor and her brother to believe in the power of education. Living up to his mother’s expectations, Sotomayor went to the Ivy League, where he majored in history at Princeton University, studied law at Yale Law School, and received his Juris Doctor degree from Yale University in 1979, before working in Manhattan, New York. District Attorney’s Office.
  In 1992, Sotomayor was nominated by Republican President George W. Bush to become a federal judge in the District Court for the Southern District of New York. Six years later, in 1998, she was nominated by Democratic President Bill Clinton to serve as a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Richard Wesley, a 2nd Circuit judge in New York appointed by President Bush Sr., said: “Sonia is an excellent colleague, she has judicial acumen, she has a wealth of knowledge, and she The court works hard, and I am delighted and honored to work with her.”
  
  Student and Lawyer
  
  Sotomayor excelled at school. While studying history at Princeton, she won the Mr. Tyler Pine Award, the highest scholarship for undergraduates at Princeton. After attending Yale Law School, Sotomayor served as editor of the monthly Yale Law Journal, and Sotomayor’s former Yale Law classmate, Robert Clough (now Director, Lewis and Clark Law School) director), describing her character in law school: “She stood by her own opinions and never gave in to anyone.”
  Sotomayor made Yale remember her for her fight against a Washington law firm. The incident stemmed from a dinner conversation between Sotomayor and a shareholder of the law firm. Shareholders asked Sotomayor if the law school would admit her if she wasn’t Puerto Rican. This is undoubtedly discriminatory. The shareholder further asked if a company had languished by hiring under-capacity minority students and had to fire them a few years later. Many students from ethnic minorities encounter this situation, and many choose to remain silent, but Sotomayor chose to protest boldly and confidently. She accused the company of interviewing her for a job. There is obvious racism. Martha Mina, Sotomayor’s classmate at Yale and now a professor at Harvard Law School, said: “Sotomayor stood by his beliefs and was a ‘very gutsy’ man.”
  At this moment, the Ivy League universities have fully demonstrated their solidarity spirit of “prosperity and loss”. At the time of the incident, the dean of the law school is said to have demanded an apology from the company and threatened that Yale Law School would not allow the company to recruit lawyers from the school in the future if a letter of apology was not written. The incident caused a stir on college campuses, with student groups strongly supporting her and demanding that the law firm write an apology.
  After Sotomayor received his Juris Doctor degree from Yale University in 1979, he worked in the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office, where he became an Assistant Attorney for the Manhattan District. During her five years as an assistant prosecutor, she was in court almost every day and was exposed to many criminal cases. Her prosecutorial work typically involves “street crimes” such as murders, robberies, child abuse, police misconduct, and cases of fraud. Robert Morgenthau, who hired her, described her as a “brave and efficient prosecutor”. She was the sole defense attorney for multiple defendants in the “Tarzan Murderer” case, one of whom was convicted and sentenced to 67-and-a-half years in prison. The case involved mutual shootings between two hostile family groups in a Manhattan rental.
  In 1984, Sotomayor entered a private law firm. The managing partner who hired her, George Pavia, was impressed with the young Sotomayor when she hired her that year, noting, “Her background and training were ideal for us.” In the law firm , She is a general civil litigator involved in all aspects of business, including real estate, employment issues, finance, contracts and agency law. In addition, her practice focuses on intellectual property law, including trademark, copyright and unfair competition issues. Her typical clients are large companies doing international business.
  
  Judge Career
  
  Sotomayor ‘s judicial service began in October 1992, when Bush Sr. appointed her as a judge on the Southern District Court of New York. She was in her 30s at the time, the youngest member of the court. During her six years in district court from 1992 to 1998, she presided over approximately 450 cases. As the presiding judge, she gained a reputation for her witty and fearless trial, without being tempted by powerful interests to violate the principles of the law. For example, in 1995, Sotomayor decided a player strike case and issued an injunction to the owners of Major League Baseball, effectively ending the baseball strike and saving the professional baseball league that was on the verge of collapse. The strike led to the cancellation of the World Professional Baseball League the previous fall and became the longest strike in the history of professional sports. She has since risen to fame and is widely credited with saving baseball.
  President Clinton appointed Judge Sotomayor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1998. She was the first Hispanic judge to serve on the court, participated in more than 3,000 panel decisions, and authored and published approximately 400 legal opinions. At the Second Circuit, Sotomayor has worked on a range of issues: from difficult constitutional disputes to complex procedural matters to lawsuits involving complex business organizations. In this context, Sotomayor is widely admired for his proficient legal theory. “She was committed to solving complex problems,” said Professor Stephen, her teacher at Yale University. “When faced with difficult situations, Sotomayor never got to the bottom of the problem, but got to the bottom of the problem through reasoning.” In United States v. Quitlon, Sotomayor concluded that the presiding judge had erred in prohibiting the release of jurors’ names to the press. Trial judges are only concerned with statute of limitations, and orderly trials must give way to constitutional freedom of speech and the press.
  Sotomayor is acutely aware of the impact the law has on everyday life. She engages in vigorous oral debate, tirelessly exploring the factual details and legal theory of the cases before her, so as to achieve a balance between the two. She believes that upholding the rule of law means going beyond legal theory to ensure consistent, fair, common-sense laws apply to the real world. For example, in United States v. Larimon, Sotomayor wrote the majority opinion of the judges that revoked the U.S. citizenship of a man accused of Poland worked for the Nazis, guarding concentration camps and helping to empty Jewish ghettos. In Lin v. Gonzalez and a series of similar cases, she ordered the reconsideration of shelters where some women were experiencing or threatened. Her comments show that she is acutely aware of the plight of these women. In United States v. Falso, FBI agents found the defendant in possession of child pornography after searching Falso’s home with a warrant. But the FBI had no idea that the court had refused to issue the search warrant. Justice Sotomayor wrote for the court that the officers’ faithful belief could justify their use of the evidence they had searched. Likewise, in United States v. Santa, Sotomayor ruled that when the police have a valid arrest warrant, valid evidence found in a search should not be considered invalid on the wrong basis. Ten years later, in Herring v. United States, the Supreme Court came to the same conclusion. In her 1997 Senate hearing on President Clinton’s nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Sotomayor said of her judicial philosophy: “I don’t think we should distort under any circumstances. The Constitution, what it is, is what it is, and we should respect it.” She followed this remark in the Second Circuit, in Hankins v. Wright, in her dissent, saying that if the federal government attempted to act as a spiritual leader It would be an unconstitutional offense to impose on religious organizations to decide who can or cannot be hired or fired. Since joining the Second Circuit, Sotomayor’s respect for the Constitution, the rule of law and justice has often led to consensus among judges and her conservative colleagues to share her views.
  Thirty years of outstanding work, Sotomayor has produced an invaluable wealth of experience and a broad perspective at nearly every level of the judicial system that will serve as an excellent foundation for her work on the Supreme Court.
  
  Personal Life and Social Services
  
  In addition to her excellent work as a judge, until 2007, Judge Sotomayor was a professor at Columbia Law School and an adjunct professor at New York University Law School. But while her legal career continued to rise, she also made many sacrifices in her personal life, most notably in marriage and children.
  Sotomayor’s marriage to her high school sweetheart lasted only a few years before it came to an end, which she has said was partly due to an overly onerous work schedule. ‘I can’t blame my divorce on my job, but leaving home at 7am and coming home at 10pm certainly doesn’t help to see what’s wrong with my marriage,’ she said during a panel discussion on judicial life. Sotomayor also said in a TV interview that I found it difficult to maintain a relationship while pursuing a career. Sotomayor was engaged again after the divorce, but the 8-year relationship ended before marriage. She has no children. According to the New York Times, she now lives an extremely busy, fulfilling life, often alone. A friend of hers told The New York Times that to ask her out, she had to make an appointment months in advance because her schedule was so tight.
  Sotomayor is loyal to her family, her colleagues, and her society. She dotes on her brother Juan’s three children and is a careful godmother to five others. She also insists on talking to her mother who lives in Florida every day. At the Court, Sotomayor helped create a collegiate committee to foster a strong partnership among Court members. She tried to take every opportunity to lead others on the path to success, she recruited lawyers to join her work, invited young women to work in court under the slogan “Bring Your Daughter to Work”, and mentored some young students Get rid of troubles.
  Sotomayor’s favorite project is the Youth Program Development School, which sponsors seminars for high school students in the city. Each term, about 70 students attend 16 workshops with the aim of teaching them how to function in a work environment. Workshop leaders include investment bankers, corporate managers and judges. Sotomayor manages a legal seminar of about 25 to 35 people. To this end, she recruited 6 lawyers to help her. In seminars, students take on a variety of roles, including district attorneys, defense attorneys, and jurors, and in the process gain practical work experience. In addition to the workshop experience, corporate sponsors also offer each student a summer job. Students were moved by these experiences, Judge Sotomayor commented, because “it opens up new opportunities that students never dreamed of before.” This is one aspect of Judge Sotomayor’s return to her community in that Inspire youth to achieve their dreams.
  Sotomayor, a circuit court judge dedicated to gender and racial equality, previously served on New York State Mortgage Lenders, the New York City Campaign Finance Commission, and the Puerto Rico Legal Defense and Education Fund.