I am extremely excited about President Obama’s United States Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who would be the first Latina to hold a seat on the highest court of the land. There has been much written about Judge Sotomayor since her nomination was made public on Tuesday, May 26, 2009. As a person of Puerto Rican descent I strongly support Sotomayor’s Supreme Court nomination, not only because her family is Puerto Rican, but because she is also qualified to hold the position and will bring a unique legal and personal perspective to our judicial branch of government.
According to Wikipedia, Hispanics/Latinos constitute 15.1% of the total US population or 45.4 million people. Hispanics/Latinos have lived in the US since the 1565 founding of St. Augustine, Florida by the Spanish, the longest among European American ethnic groups and second–longest of all US ethnic groups, after American Indians. The Latino presence can even be said to date from half a century earlier than St. Augustine, if San Juan, Puerto Rico is considered to be the oldest Spanish settlement, and the oldest city, in the US.
There have been a total of 110 Supreme Court Justices, of which two were African-American and two have been women. We are long overdue for a Hispanic person on the US Supreme Court. There have already been several negative stories published about Sotomayor’s Latina pride and temperament and some Republicans have even gone as far as calling her a member of the Latino KKK. This is a desperate Republican tactic and shows us how low some conservatives may go to fight Sotomayor’s confirmation. I hope all Latinos and like-minded allies will come together to rebut these smear campaigns and ensure that Judge Sotomayor’s nomination is confirmed.