June 6, 2009 |
In late 1979, Cesar Perales, the head of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, fielded an unusual request from Jose Cabranes, a federal judge and a leading figure in Latino legal circles: Would he place Sonia Sotomayor, a recent Yale Law School graduate, on his board? Perales normally tried to stock his board with people who had money or connections that could benefit the fund, the nation's most important Puerto Rican legal advocacy group. Sotomayor had neither.
June 5, 2009 |
Judge Sonia Sotomayor, already facing controversy for a 2001 speech on the virtue of having "a wise Latina" as a judge, made similar comments in a series of speeches released Thursday. She said the nation is "deeply confused" about the proper role of race and ethnic identity, and she maintained that her identity as a Latina shaped her life and her work in court. She hoped "a wise Latina" would reach a "better conclusion" than a white male, she said on several occasions.
June 4, 2009 |
One of the great things about Senate confirmations of Supreme Court justices is that they help us develop a long-term perspective on the workings of the highest tribunal in the land. For instance, when the political fight broke out over Sonia Sotomayor's assertion that a judge's ethnic and socioeconomic background might actually influence how he or she interprets the law, I cracked the history books to find support for that fairly obvious point.
May 31, 2009 |
It did not take long after moving 60 miles from the ethnically diverse neighborhoods of the Bronx to the campus of Princeton University for Sonia Sotomayor to make it clear she was not happy with the way the overwhelmingly white, male school was run. In her sophomore year, Sotomayor walked into the office of university President William G. Bowen to demand more Latino faculty and students.
May 31, 2009 |
When President Obama nominated federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court, ethnic advocacy groups praised the selection of the first Latino to the nation's highest court. Yet some political opponents, such as Republican strategist Karl Rove, sought to downplay the nomination's significance by pointing out that Benjamin N. Cardozo, who served on the Supreme Court in the 1930s, was born to parents who claimed Portuguese descent. So did that make him the first Latino?
May 30, 2009 |
While some prominent conservative activists are accusing President Obama's Supreme Court nominee of racism, more Republicans are telling them to chill out and "grow up," or they risk damaging the party's chances of expanding its reach to women and Latinos.
May 29, 2009 |
Getting nominated to one of the rare openings on the U.S. Supreme Court requires an element of luck. Sonia Sotomayor appears to have had an abundance of it in recent months. On Tuesday, President Obama picked Sotomayor, 54, a federal appeals court judge from New York City, to replace retiring Justice David H. Souter. She also hit the jackpot Nov. 23 in a Florida casino, collecting $8,283 while gambling with her 81-year-old mother.
May 28, 2009 |
The early White House story line on Sonia Sotomayor emphasizes her pragmatism and a cautious, measured approach to the law developed over a years-long climb from exceedingly modest circumstances to becoming the first Latino nominee to the Supreme Court. But an incident in the fall of 1978 illustrates another side of Sotomayor. Then a daring and assertive Yale University law student, she took a stand against a white-shoe Washington law firm that could have jeopardized her career.
May 27, 2009 |
In nominating Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court on Tuesday, President Obama tapped a veteran jurist whose humble upbringing and moderate-to-liberal record is unlikely to trigger an ideological battle in the Senate. Sotomayor, 54, would be the first Latino on the court. Legal experts said that her narrowly written opinions resembled those of the justice she would replace, David H. Souter. She has not ruled squarely on controversial issues such as gay rights or abortion.
May 21, 2009 |
As President Obama is interviewing candidates for the Supreme Court, prospective nominees are being debated and dissected on blogs and in chat rooms. Conservative groups have posted campaign-style attack ads on YouTube. Counter-strikes are being launched by liberal groups. The prime targets are Judge Diane P. Wood of the U.S.