They also said Mr. Obama believed any of his finalists would face an easy confirmation and stressed that Judge Sotomayor’s personality will help her be her own advocate on Capitol Hill as she meets with senators in coming days and weeks.
“The more the American people see of Sonia Sotomayor, the more they are exposed to her experience, her judgment and her personality, I’m convinced she’ll win them over,” an official said.
The White House also packaged her story, her Princeton yearbook page and family photos for mass distribution, and the former Obama campaign now called Organizing for America distributed a video by the president announcing his choice.
Judge Sotomayor will not be taking formal leave from the bench but will not be hearing any new cases.
Judge Sotomayor would be the third woman in history to serve on the court, but, if appointed, she is not expected to change its balance. Justice Souter, despite being nominated by George H.W. Bush, was a decidedly liberal jurist, repeatedly siding with the minority in 5-4 rulings of the conservative-leaning high court.
She joins the only other female justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose health may offer Mr. Obama a second opportunity in the near future to put his imprint on the high court. She is expected to retire because she is battling pancreatic cancer even though she has continued to serve while undergoing treatment.
As the White House and Judge Sotomayor recognized her family during the East Room ceremony, lawmakers statements flooded in recognizing the judge of Puerto Rican descent as embodying the “American dream.”
Gov. Luis Fortuno of Puerto Rico, a Republican, lauded the choice as “history in the making” and former Republican Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales told CNN, “This is a powerful message, a powerful message of hope and opportunity through this appointment.”
The president’s pick ensures Democrats will continue to build broad support in the growing Hispanic electorate, a key voting bloc that overwhelmingly sided with him last fall despite Republican gains in previous years.
Judge Sotomayor, who is divorced and has no children, fits that description, having worked her way up from a hardscrabble childhood. She was raised by a single mom who wiped away tears during the announcement Tuesday.
The meaning didn’t escape Judge Sotomayor, whose own eyes glistened as she spoke from the White House by the side of the first black president.
“I hope that as the Senate and the American people learn more about me they will see that I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences. Today is one of those experiences.”
By Rand Paul
Obama acts as though we no longer have a Constitution
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
In a world that is increasingly complex, we need to seek greater awareness of the blending of cultures and America's changing role in a global community.
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up.
Libertarian thought beyond politics, unrestrained by convention.
Empowering mind/body/spirit and health dialogue along with cutting-edge, conscious social, political, and world commentary with Adam Omkara. Join the Evolution!
Benghazi: The anatomy of a scandal
Vietnam Memorial adds four names
Cinco de Mayo on the Mall
NRA kicks off annual convention
California wildfires wreak havoc