So, as expected, US President Barack Obama's pick for the Supreme Court, succeeding David Souter who was widely seen as liberal, is a woman, and a Latina at that.
If confirmed by the senate, Sotomayor will show the female face of Hispanic America from the country's highest court; yet she was first called to the bench by a Republican president – the elder George Bush – and her moderate judicial history suggests a worldview unlikely to shift the Supreme Court sharply to the left.
Hailing his nominee as one who possesses "a rigorous intellect, a mastery of the law," Obama emphasized Sotomayor's rise beyond a raft of societal challenges that in many ways mirrored his own.
"Even as she has accomplished so much in her life, she has never forgotten where she began, never lost touch with the community that supported her," said Obama.
"What Sonia will bring to the court, then, is not only the knowledge and experience acquired over the course of a brilliant legal career, but the wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life's journey."
Raised in a Bronx housing project to parents who moved to New York from Puerto Rico during World War II, Sotomayor graduated from Princeton University, where she was a co-recipient of the M. Taylor Pyne Prize, the university's highest honour for undergraduates. Sotomayer later served as editor of the Yale Law Journal.
Politics and sex issues aside, it's not an inspired choice, really. Nor is it really very daring.
At least not according to Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild and a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, CA.
It is significant that President Obama has nominated the first Latino to the Supreme Court and Sonia Sotomayor will bring to two the number of women on the high court. She will be a solid liberal but will not change the political balance of the Court since she will replace Justice David Souter. Although she will likely be called upon to review Obama’s decisions on interrogation policies, preventive detention and the state secrets privilege, Sotomayor’s views on executive power are largely unknown. But with this pick, Obama has missed an opportunity to tap a liberal intellectual giant like William Brennan who will have a major impact on the Court for years to come. George W. Bush didn’t hesitate to choose two unabashedly right-wing justices. Obama could have chosen Pamela Karlan, Harold Koh or Erwin Chemerinsky, who would have provided a true progressive counterweight to Justices Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Thomas.
Now, it's fair to judge Sotomayor on her decisions, on her record and her resume. But you know that that's not the way it is going, at least not completely.
For example, this morning Fox News' Bill Hemmer described her ''domineering in her oral arguments'' and obsessed ''with marginal details.''
Hmmm. ''Domineering?'' Stupid broad obviously doesn't know when to shut up, unlike men who would be ''forceful'' in their arguments.
As for being obsessed with ''marginal details,'' well, all I can say is, if I were facing charges, I would like to think that the judge is keeping track of all the evidence.
But that's just me.
So look out everybody. Sotomayor represents the end of justice for white men in America.
OH NO: WHO WILL REPRESENT WHITE MALES ON THE COURT?
Sen. James Inhofe:
In the months ahead, it will be important for those of us in the U.S. Senate to weigh [Sonia Sotomayor's] qualifications and character as well as her ability to rule fairly without undue influence from her own personal race, gender, or political preferences.
Yes. Because the worldviews of John Roberts, Sam Alito, John Paul Stevens, Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, and Antonin Scalia are not impacted at all by their white male identities. White men are raceless and genderless, haven't you heard?