The First Draft: Obama picks hispanic woman for court

May 26, 2009

President Barack Obama announced Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee for the Supreme Court this morning.

Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic named to the court and would increase the number of women currently sitting on the court to two.

A reading of the tea leaves — via the presidential and vice presidential schedules — had increased chatter this morning that President Barack Obama could announce his nominee for the Supreme Court as soon as today.

USA/Both Obama and Vice President Joe Biden are in town — at least for the morning — today before heading west on separate trips. Obama leaves the White House at 4 pm for Las Vegas where he will attend a fundraiser for Senate majority leader Harry Reid before going to California until Thursday. Biden is around for a bit before heading to Denver to host the Middle Class Task Force and talk about green economy jobs.

Obama had been considering a short list of mostly women for a seat on the nine-member, male-dominated high court. The pick is unlikely to change the ideological makeup of the court since Obama is expected to pick a liberal like Justice David Souter, who announced his resignation on May 1.

Other candidates believed to be considered included Judge Diane Wood of the appeals court in Chicago, Solicitor General Elena Kagan and  Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has also been mentioned as a possible candidate.

Asked about his Supreme Court choice, Obama said in an interview on C-SPAN over the weekend that he wanted “somebody who has the intellectual firepower but also a little bit of a common touch and has a practical sense of how the world works.”

Also on the radar screen this week is the looming bankruptcy of General Motors. United Auto Workers’ officials will gather on Tuesday to hear how many more U.S. factory jobs GM will cut as the auto maker enters what could be its last week outside bankrupty.

GM has been struggling to cut costs and reduce debts in order to continue receiving government aid.

For more Reuters political news, click here

Photo credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (Obama talks in Rose Garden)

11 comments

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as usual democrats want it both ways,whitehouse senior spokes person jarrit, when interviewed by a reporter suggested that sotomajors life story and judicial experience would add to her ability to make sound judgment.but when asked how she stood on gay marriage and abortion the spokes person would not answer and replied that the judge would not let any preference influence any decision,another wonderful example the democratic duplicity.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

During the last round of Supreme Court nominations, many Republican Senators went so far as to claim the filibuster of judicial nominees was unconstitutional. They threatened to go nuclear. They praised presidential discretion.

Now, President Obama has appointed Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. Will Senate Republicans remain consistent in their position, or commit one of the most blatant acts of hypocrisy in the 220-year history of the United States Senate?

I doubt there’s any uncertainty at all as to the actual outcome. They’ll try to filibuster. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be the Grand Obstructionist Party.

Posted by dmeyer | Report as abusive

This is a brilliant nomination. Let’s see the “RepubliTHUGS” pick a silly fight, furthering their bad image with Hispanics. Love it, love it, love it.

Posted by LisaP | Report as abusive

Obama used a Supreme Court Justice position to trap Republicans. This woman has a horrible record for getting any decision, many contradictory to her own previous decisions, overturned by the very court she is nominated for. She is a “case-by-case” judge, which is fine on a smaller level. But she has no sense of the scope of the job ahead of her. And by the way, just because there is not enough women on the panel, should ALL of his possible nominees been women? Race/gender/religious quotas are BS that lead to symbolic choices instead of relevant choices.

Also, LisaP, you are a republiThug (or the liberal equivalent). Using something like this just to take a shot at a political party is proof of how emotionally moronic our “educated” society really is. Does anyone have a valid defense for this woman’s nomination other than how it “looks” or “feels”? The only defense anyone has posted is “Look what the Reps did”….uh, weren’t the Republicans wrong? This is Pakistani politics at its best(worst?). “He did it first, he did it first…”.

Posted by Patrick | Report as abusive

Don’t know much about her but if Obama picked her, she will not be one to support the constitution, liberty, or freedom.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

patrick,because of the injustice of the past, certain minorities are given dispensation to say what they like and lack of political correctness is not leveled against them.this could be considered justified ,this is not my call.but this seems to be expected to apply to the democratic party as well, there is an expectation they have the moral right because they represent the least fortunate.this seems to be same for the selection sotomajor, because of her “life story “they say she should be automatically accepted.it is mentioned her early disadvantages will mold her decision making and make her a more rounded judge.on this basis i hope she does not get the free pass that obama got.what about her life style, at the introduction she praised her mother and brother,but no husband or sons or daughters,we are not supposed to ask personal questions like these,but we have had nominees wives crying at the harshness of the inquiry.were does she stand on abortion or gay marriage?because if certain “life stories” would affect decisions,so would “life style”.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

if justice were truly blind and ethnicity irrelevant, we would only need to look at such banalities as competence, background, and track record. what we get with the sotomayor nomination is more government by new age sob story and libtard muzak from mr obama’s teleprompter

Posted by jd | Report as abusive

“Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic named to the court…”

Actually Benjamin Cardozo was the first Hispanic on the Supreme Court.

Posted by Scott | Report as abusive

We don’t want a Latino, black, white, man, woman, Catholic, Jew, Muslim for the next Supreme Court appointment. Anyone who makes their selection is either a racist, religious bigot, or a sexist. We need someone who has studied and understands the U.S. Constitution as written, not as the appointee wants it re-invented. We need someone who will follow the rules for the Supreme Court as laid down in the Constitution, only, and will not try to replace the Congress by legislating.

Posted by Bernard Elbinger | Report as abusive

Supreme Court nominees present themselves one way at confirmation hearings but act differently on the court. That makes it difficult for senators to cast informed votes or for the public to play a meaningful role in the process.
Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas, for example, told the Senate that they had strong respect for Supreme Court precedents. On the court they are the justices who have most often voted to overturn those precedents. Justice David Souter deferred more to precedent than his Senate testimony suggested he would.
So much for the conservative “legislating from the bench” canard of branding liberals as activists.
Despite the occasional lapse of honesty about what is going on with conservative jurists attempting to force their own worldview on the rest of us from the bench, the false branding really needs to be questioned.
The next time some conservative brings up those “liberal activist judges,” we should all just laugh, because the thought that activist judges like Scalia, Roberts and Thomas aren’t trying to influence policy from the bench is simply laughable.

Posted by Christy | Report as abusive

“Taken out of context”

OK, fair enough….so what do her words mean “in context”?

Posted by Robert Anderson, NY,NY | Report as abusive