Updated 05/27/2009 10:01 AM
Obama Names Bronx Native As Pick For Supreme Court
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
President Barack Obama nominated federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor, a New Yorker, for the Supreme Court Tuesday morning, calling her an "inspiring woman."
If confirmed by the Senate, Sotomayor, 54, would become the first Hispanic to serve on the nation's highest court.
"Walking in the door, she would have more experience on the bench and more varied experience on the bench than anyone currently serving on the United States Supreme Court had when they were appointed," Obama said during his announcement.
The South Bronx native would succeed retiring Justice David Souter.
Following the official nomination, Sotomayor called the selection, "the most humbling honor" of her life.
"I chose to be a lawyer and ultimately a judge because I find endless challenge in the complexities of the law," she said. "I firmly believe in the rule of law as the foundation for all of our basic rights."
Sotomayor while an undergraduate student at Princeton University.
Sotomayor was born in the Bronx in 1954, attended North Bronx's Cardinal Spellman High School
, and graduated from Princeton University and Yale Law School. She's been a judge since 1992, and has served on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit since 1998.
Earlier this month, Sotomayor was honored as an influential Latina by El Diario/La Prensa. Her parents came to New York from Puerto Rico during World War II.
New York Senator Charles Schumer said he recommended her to Obama because she met three important criteria: excellence, moderation and diversity.
"It's a great New York story and it's a great American story," Schumer said following the announcement of her selection. "And, she will give the courts some needed understanding of how ordinary Americans live. Her outstanding legal mind and her compelling life experience is just the combination this court needs in its next justice."
Governor David Paterson, who wrote a letter to Obama recommending Sotomayor to the post, praised the New York judge's nomination alongside other Albany lawmakers today.
"It is a catalyst for empowerment for belief that any child in this country can grow up to become whatever they want. And one of those children grew up to become president of the United States just a few months ago," said the governor.
"As a Puerto Rican woman, I'm proud," said Bronx Assemblyman Carmen Arroyo. "As a Puerto Rican mother, I want to send a message to every mother in the world: if you raise your children with dignity and you use that dignity to prepare them for the future, we will have more Sonia Sotomayors in this world."
Sotomayor is expected to be confirmed since Democrats hold the majority in the Senate.
If approved, she would join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the second woman on the current Court.