May 26th, 2009
08:31 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Supreme Pick

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/05/26/sotomayor.bio/art.bio.gi.jpg caption="Sonia Sotomayor says the nomination is the 'most humbling honor' of her life."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

President Obama wants the Senate to act quickly and confirm his Supreme Court nominee by August, so that Judge Sonia Sotomayor can be on the job when the court begins its new term in October. But Republicans say they won't be rushed and will thoroughly examine her records.

What do you think of Pres. Obama's pick? Share your thoughts below.

Tonight on AC360°, we'll give you the facts on Judge Sotomayor.

If confirmed, the 54-year-old will be the first Latina U.S. Supreme Court justice. She would also be the third woman to serve on the high court. She would replace Justice David Souter who is retiring.

"Over a distinguished career that spans three decades, Judge Sotomayor has worked at almost every level of our judicial system, providing her with a depth of experience and a breath of perspective that will be invaluable as a Supreme Court justice," said Pres. Obama today when announcing his pick.

Judge Sotomayor grew up in a Bronx, New York housing project; a child of Puerto Rican parents. Her father died when she was 9, leaving her mother, a nurse, to raise her and her brother. She gave praise to her mother at the White House today.

"My mother has devoted her life to my brother and me. And as the President mentioned, she worked often two jobs to help support us after Dad died. I have often said that I am all I am because of her. And I am only half the woman she is."

Sotomayor was at the top of her class in high school and went on to  graduate summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1976. Three years later she earned a law degree from Yale.

President George H.W. Bush nominated her to a U.S. District Court seat in 1992. She was confirmed by unanimous consent. Six year later, President Bill Clinton nominated her to her current seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals. That vote was split 67-29, with only Republicans voting against her. 11 of those GOP senators are still serving on Capitol Hill.

As you'd expect, not everyone is a fan of Sotomayor's credentials. Several conservative groups are blasting the pick.

"Judge Sotomayor is a liberal judicial activist of the first order who thinks her own personal political agenda is more important than the law as written. She thinks that judges should dictate policy, and that one's sex, race, and ethnicity ought to affect the decisions one renders from the bench," wrote Wendy Long, counsel to the Judicial Confirmation Network, in a written statement.

Long will be a guest on tonight's program.

You'll also get feedback from CNN's Jeffrey Toobin, author of the best-selling book "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court".  Does he approve of Sotomayor?  Find out on AC360°.

Join us for all the angles on the President's pick and tonight's other headlines starting at 10pm ET.

See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. SLM

    She is not a great pick, not even a good pick. She supports discrimination against whites. Guess she's a great pick if you're NOT white. .

    May 27, 2009 at 8:43 am |
  2. bobt

    no matter who obama picked the conservative response would be the same – "NO". what else is new

    May 27, 2009 at 7:22 am |
  3. Sleepless

    It seems that everyone is so concerned about the President's appointments instead of finding ways to assist him with governing this nation. We, the people, chose him–we wanted change. Let the man do his job, and have faith in your country and its leader. By golly, you all who are over;y critical of Obama now didn't have much to say when the all mighty Bush was in office screwing everything up. Do you all earn your salary just to spark conflict among our leaders and the people? Give me a break. If I had my choice, I'd vote to keep him in office for another 50 years! At least he is showing some sort of caring for our country. It's not just an enterprise,Bush lovers....its our home.

    May 27, 2009 at 2:24 am |
  4. Carla in St. Paul

    All jurists, and all people, bring their experience to everything they do. Why should Judge Sotomeyer be obliged to do otherwise? Apparently she is not supposed to use her Latina judgment. By that I can only presume that it is not as good as White judgment. The opposition objects to her perspective only because it may not be the same as theirs.

    May 27, 2009 at 12:42 am |
  5. Marion Kittelson-Villanueva

    Congrays to Sotomayor !

    May 27, 2009 at 12:35 am |
  6. jason

    horrible pick! I feel like this is just another way for the president to become more of a popstar. The president says he wants someone with empathy and with the ability to modify the constitution, thats not someone you want appointed as a supreme court justice!!

    May 26, 2009 at 11:17 pm |
  7. Marion Kittelson-Villanueva

    Everyone is wondering how the Rebublicans will dissuade us on the appointment of Sonja Sotomayor. The old adage" You don't know how tall you are until you are called to stand" Sotomayor will sparkle even more after their attacks!!

    A Fellow Puerto Rican in Hawaii

    May 26, 2009 at 11:15 pm |
  8. Concepcion Lara, Bali Indonesia

    As a Latina I say "Hip, Hip Hooray !" for the president's pick ! Being far from home, I find it gratifying to read the posts here of so many non-Latinos celebrate today's nomination for the Supreme Court–it makes my heart sing and reminds me that there really are so many, open-minded and fair Americans and makes me miss my homeland so much today !

    May 26, 2009 at 10:49 pm |
  9. Kirk Fraley

    ow dare Wendy Long ty to speak for me, a Obama supporter? I agree with the president in this appointment. We all knew that the angry republicans would start spewing venom at any ick the Preient made. Let the firewoks from the party of NO! begin.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:33 pm |
  10. Henya

    This is unbelievable yes I was hopeful but no the Republicans
    do not see the big picture this is a judge with 17 yr, of experience like President Bush didn't pick his on judges that he wanted he 2 of them confirmed, and Ms. Wendy you lost the election so get with it and move forward, I agree with Jeffery and the Professor

    May 26, 2009 at 10:28 pm |
  11. LT

    please ms. long dont talk for america about who they want on the supreme court. if you're talking about the the 21% republican that is left in this coutry then say that. i am happy about the pick!

    May 26, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  12. Andi

    Her credentials are gong to be hard to argue. She has a few quotes out there that the right will pounce on. True though they may pragmatically be, the right will try to make an 'activist' issue of them. She will be affirmed but the right will try to sully her presence for future use. Its politics, unfortunately.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  13. Moises Marrero

    This is a great day for Americans of Puerto Rican heritage. However, Sonia is an example of what any American can achieve in this great country of ours, regardless of your race or ethnicity.

    BTW, a simple but very important correction, Sonia was not born from Puerto Rican immigrants. People born in Puerto Rico have been Americans since 1917. Will it make sense if you said, "Sonia's parents were immigrants from Georgia"?


    May 26, 2009 at 10:16 pm |
  14. Kasha Williams

    Sotomayor is a great pick. Not only is she extremely qualified, she has the experience to form a fair opinion.The judicial system must consist of a mix...not more of the same. The Honorable Sotomayor will do a remarkable job.

    May 26, 2009 at 10:15 pm |
  15. robin thigpin

    as a fairly conservative person, I think balance is good for us all....best outcomes are from changing paradigms...too many of any one thing distors our views....

    May 26, 2009 at 10:14 pm |
  16. Annie Kate

    Hi Maureen!

    Looking forward to the show and the discussion over the Supreme pick tonight. I think she looks great – her background, the fact she is Latino, and a woman, her education and experience – she is quite a package!! I hope that the confirmation goes fast too. Good pick.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:21 pm |
  17. Kathy

    I hope Ms. Long has examples to support her outrageous remarks. Being Republican, I am sure she won't. If this woman is truly what Ms. Long says – and Ms. Long can prove it up – she should not be confirmed. But . . .again . . . being Republican, she won't have a single fact to back her remarks up.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:20 pm |
  18. Blair

    It's too bad Wendy Long wouldn't remember that she benefits from Judge Sotomayer appointment by virtue of being a woman. Instead she's sharpening her claws for no other reason than she is.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:15 pm |
  19. Beryl

    She is the "American Dream". Hard work resulted in a Latina being lifted to responsibilities in the highest court. This is all due to the tenacity and sacrifice of her and her parents - her mother in particular. She EARNED this honor. This is a proud day for all Americans.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:14 pm |
  20. Claire Adrienne

    I hear comments from the right like "the American people still suffer". Yes, we suffer from 9/11, which happened under Bush and Cheney's watch. Amd we suffer from ther trashing of our entire economy, joblssness, etc., which was caused by 8 years of Bush administration and 6 years of Republican Congress. How can they expect Obama to "fix" it in 4 months?


    May 26, 2009 at 9:13 pm |
  21. Alexi

    So far, I'm impressed by the nominee and by her honesty. Of course one's experience will inform one's decisions and opinions. The justices are not automatons and don't have to be in order to hand down fair and just decisions. My hope is that partisans tone down the rhetoric to allow for a confirmation process that makes us all proud of our system of government.

    May 26, 2009 at 9:12 pm |
  22. Jane

    I think she a great pick! Good track record, great role model!

    May 26, 2009 at 9:00 pm |
  23. Cindy

    I don't really think that Sotomayor being chosen by Obama really matters. The Supreme Court is pretty evenly split so she will just keep that even divide going. Her being chosen won't move the decisions they make one way or the other. It'll still come out the same as it would have with Souter.


    May 26, 2009 at 8:48 pm |
  24. Isabel

    Hi, Maureen Miller!

    Judge Sonia Sotomayor is of Latin descent and woman. Minority double. For me, as a woman is very good to see if that happen!

    The ideal of justice is the day that this news will be referencing the competence of the person and not because a judge (woman) Latin was chosen for Supreme Court.


    May 26, 2009 at 8:42 pm |