Who is Sotomayor?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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Antonia Bins

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4y ago

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Sonia Maria Sotomayor (born June 25, 1954) was President Obama's first US Supreme Court nominee, who was recently confirmed and sworn in to replace Justice David H. Souter, who retired from the US Supreme Court at the end of June 2009. She is the first Latina justice in the Supreme Court's history.

Sonia was born and raised the Bronx, New York, to Puerto Rican parents Celina and Juan Sotamayor. Her father, a factory worker, died when she was nine. Although Sotomayor's mother worked as a practical nurse, the family was forced to live in public housing due to the high cost of living in New York City.

Sonia loved to read, and was an excellent scholar. She graduated valedictorian of her class at Blessed Sacrament School in Soundview, Bronx (a private parochial school that teaches K-8), then passed the entrance exams and was selected to attend the academically rigorous Cardinal Spellman High School in New York City, where she was also valedictorian.

Sotomayor received a full academic scholarship to Princeton University, where she was one of approximately 20 Hispanic students. She graduated from Princeton summa cum laude in 1976 with a Bachelor's degree in History and a long record of student activism, volunteer work and academic awards, including election to Phi Beta Kappa, a prestigious national honor fraternity.

Sotomayor married her high school sweetheart, Kevin Edward Noonan, in August 1976, (they divorced in 1983) then entered Yale Law School on a full scholarship the following month. While in law school, she became an editor of the Yale Law Review as well as managing editor of the publication later named the Yale Journal of International Law. She received her J.D. from Yale in 1979 and was admitted to the New York bar in 1980.

Sotomator began her law career as an Assistant District Attorney for the District Attorney of New York County, where she worked in the trial division. In 1984, she entered private practice with a mid-sized litigation firm, where she specialized in intellectual property, banking, real estate, and contract law.

The young attorney performed extensive public service work, spending four years on the Board of the State of New York Mortgage agency, which helped low-income workers procure home mortgages and protected the insurance coverage of AIDS hospices. She also served 12 years on the Board of Directors of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, and two years on the Board of the Maternity Center Association.

Sotomayor's judicial career began in 1992, when George H. W. Bush nominated her to the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, with the enthusiastic backing of both New York Republican and Democratic Senators.

Bill Clinton nominated Sotomayor to the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1997. Her nomination was held in the Senate for a year because some Republicans were afraid she was being put on a fast-track to the US Supreme Court. She was finally confirmed by a Senate vote of 67-29 (which included approval from 25 Republicans) in 1998.

On August 6, 2009, the US Senate confirmed Sotomayor's nomination by a vote of 68-31, making her the 111th US Supreme Court Justice. Although the vote was split along party lines, the unanimous Democratic endorsement was joined by nine Republicans and both Senate Independents. Sonia Sotomayor took the Constitutional and Judicial Oaths of Office on August 8, 2009. She will begin sitting with the Court during the 2009-2010 Term, which begins on the first Monday in October.

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Susanna Doyle

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Continue Learning about American Government

How many children does sonia sotomayor have?

Sonia Sotomayor doesn't have any children.

How many children does Justice Sonia Sotomayor have?

Sonia Sotomayor doesn't have any children.

Which US Supreme Court justices are not married?

Justice Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are the only unmarried justices on the current Court (as of September 23, 2010). Justice David Souter, whom Sotomayor succeeded on the bench in 2009, was also unmarried.

How can I contact Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor?

You can write Justice Sonia Sotomayor or the other Justices by sending a letter to:Justice (or Chief Justice) (Justice's Full Name)Supreme Court of the United StatesOne First Street N.E.Washington, DC 20543Their personal email, and office phone numbers are confidential.

What is Justice Sonia Sotomayor's favorite color?

According to a December 24, 2009, Forbes Woman column in Forbes Magazine, Justice Sotomayor's favorite color is "fire-engine red."Under the heading "Tweets (And More) Of The Week: Why Are We Looking At Sotomayor's Red Nails?" Latina magazine creative director, Florian Bachleda, is quoted as saying:"But what's up with her nails? Bachleda writes that during Sotomayor's confirmation hearings, the justice was fully prepped on everything from potentially explosive questions down to her dress and nail color. She was, apparently, advised to keep the lacquer neutral. But, he continues, "on the day of the White House reception celebrating her appointment, Sotomayor asked the president to look at her freshly manicured nails, holding up her hands to show off her favorite color: a fire-engine red. The president chuckled, saying that she had been warned against that color."You can access the article via Related Links, below.

Related questions

What is the birth name of Carlos Sotomayor?

Carlos Sotomayor's birth name is Carlos Sotomayor.

What is the birth name of Sonia Sotomayor?

Sonia Sotomayor's birth name is Sonia Maria Sotomayor.

Is Justice Sotomayor single?

No, Justice Sotomayor is not single.

What is Sotomayor's full name?

Sonia Maria Sotomayor

How many children does Justice Sotomayor have?

Sonia Sotomayor doesn't have any children.

What is Sonia Sotomayor's sexual orientation?

Sonia Sotomayor is heterosexual.

Does Sotomayor have kids?

No, Sonia Sotomayor doesn't have any children.

When was Jorge Sotomayor born?

Jorge Sotomayor was born in 1988.

How tall is Ivette Sotomayor?

Ivette Sotomayor is 5' 6".

What is sonia sotomayor's full name?

Sonia Maria Sotomayor

Is javier sotomayor a male or female?

Javier Sotomayor is a male

What is sonia sotomayor's full name?

Sonia Maria Sotomayor