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Why Did Obama Pick Sotomayor?

By May 26, 2009

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Gender and ethnic background aside, why did Obama pick Sonia Sotomayor for the Supreme Court?

A short list of her accomplishments, drawn from a White House press release, explains why:

  • More federal judicial experience than any Supreme Court justice in 100 years
  • More overall judicial experience than any Supreme Court justice in the past 70 years
  • Summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton
  • Graduate of Yale Law School and an editor of Yale Law Journal
  • Five years' experience as former Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan
  • Corporate litigation experience and partner with Pavia and Harcourt
  • Youngest member appointed to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York (appointed by President H.W. Bush)
  • Decade of experience on U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (first Latina to serve the court)
These are just talking points if you're unfamiliar with Sotomayor's credentials and find yourself arguing with your conservative friends about why she's an extremely well-qualified nominee.

A fully detailed description of Judge Sotomayor's distinguished legal career is available at the White House website.

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May 26, 2009 at 6:06 pm
(1) whiteknyght says:

from over on Salon…

“In a statement attacking the President’s choice of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, Huckabee mistakenly referred to her as Maria Sotomayor.

From a high-school auditorium in downtown Little Rock, Huckabee sang his statement to a packed house that included his family, friends, and all his awkward Drama Club buddies who will be scattered to the four winds after graduation next week.

The audience was silent as Huckabee broke into his statement:

“The President’s choice of Maria Sotomayor is the clearest indication that the truce between the Democrats and Republicans is over and there is going to be a rumble tonight.

The GOP is going to have its day tonight.
We’re going to jazz it tonight! Tonight!
Obama began it, and we’re the ones to stop em once and for all!
The GOP are gonna have their way!
The GOP are gonna have their day!
We’re gonna rock it tonight.

After the production Huckabee was asked to comment on the error. Huckabee looked stunned, but recovered quickly and immediately responded to his mistake:

“I’m so sorry for any offense taken by Judge Sotomayor or her family. I just literally thought that they were all named Maria. “”

May 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm
(2) whiteknyght says:

this just in… she’s just a dumb latina, according to the giant intellect of Pat Buchanan http://www.salon.com/opinion/walsh/politics/2009/05/27/supreme_court/

May 26, 2009 at 11:53 pm
(3) womensissues says:

Whiteknyght, where would we be without you to defend the honor of women AND point us to those things that make our teeth ache in frustration? Thanks to your input, those two pieces (Buchanan and Huckabee) formed the basis of my newsletter that’s going out tonight.

If you and/or anyone else is interested and is not yet a subscriber to the Women’s Issues newsletter, you can sign up at the top right-hand corner of this page.

May 27, 2009 at 11:17 am
(4) Janice Ma says:

Did Huckabee really say that he thought Hispanic women were all named Maria? Is he THAT stupid? I have known many Hispanic women and only one of them was named Maria. Many other white women are named Maria. My own mother (I’m white) is named Mary, another form of Maria.
Ah, well, I’ve always thought many white men were dumb anyway, with the ones on top being the dumbest. It’s like this; when one grows up in a lily white wealthy neighborhood, one is never challenged in one’s beliefs. Few of them really ever have to look at life through any eyes other than their own. Having any kind of real political discussion with them is useless. It’s like the old saying, ‘Don’t confuse me with facts. My mind is already made up.’ It fits them, wouldn’t you agree?

May 27, 2009 at 11:31 am
(5) whiteknyght says:

Thank you for the compliment, Linda, a knee-jerk reaction from being raised a gentleman – which got me lectured plenty back in the day by feminist who took offense at my trying to open a door or hold a chair or coat.

Of course, you know I am an unrepentant white male, and actually until we started talking a couple years back I had lost all opinions on feminist issues such as reproduction, etc, under the viewpoint if I am not allowed to play in the pool, why should I care about the quality of the water.

May 27, 2009 at 1:58 pm
(6) Caroline says:

Very interesting. True colors, eh?

If she were a white, male, Republican, they’d be characterizing her as the second coming.

Your comment about pools and quality of water is quite thought-provoking, WhiteKnyght. Folks who swim in country club pools don’t much care whether the local lake is polluted or full of reptiles.

Thanks, Linda, for the heads-up about your newsletter ~ duh! I’m so focused on what you’ve got to say that I didn’t see it.

May 27, 2009 at 2:22 pm
(7) Cpatrick says:

As a white male (please don’t turn me off,) I’d like to say don’t catagorize all of us as dumb (although we can be), Republican born, raised, and will die humans (and you may use the term loosely.) Those credentials of Judge Sotomayer ain’t nothing to laugh at. Definitely the best choice he could have made, and maybe the best choice in a long time. And please don’t hound Mr. Huckabee. He’s going to have enough trouble trying to loosen that noose around his neck today.

May 27, 2009 at 7:47 pm
(8) Kati says:

Your column and all comments are so stupid and blind. How about how many times she’s been overturned by the Supreme Court? I don’t see that statistic in your glowing review of her. She’s a woman – that’s great. She’s Latina – that’s great. She’s anti-Constitution. That’s just what we need now – NOT!

May 28, 2009 at 10:29 pm
(9) whiteknyght says:

Caroline -

afraid I have never stuck my toe in the fine country club waters of the white aristocracy… then again, I have never wanted to, either.

June 1, 2009 at 8:07 pm
(10) Monique says:

Have you bothered to check why her rulings were overturned by a conservative Republican supreme court? Sotomayor is not anti-Constitution. I don’t know where you got that. It’s been written over the last few days that her judicial decisions actually do stick to the letter of the law. There are liberals/democrats that actually find her conservative when it comes to “making” new law because she doesn’t try to over-interpret the Constitution.
I just read on the about.com website how her ruling made a lot more sense than the Supreme Court overrule. Hmmm who to believe.

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