Celebrate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Latinx SCOTUS judge

Leah Kulmann, Senior Reporter

We celebrate Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month to recognize the achievements and contributions of inspirational Hispanic Americans who have inspired others to achieve success. Sonia Sotomayor is a Latina woman to be celebrated, as she is the country’s first Latina Supreme Court Justice. 

Sotomayor was born in the Bronx, New York City to Puerto Rican parents and has always been a proud Latina. The U.S. Supreme Court Justice represents hard work, dedication and high honor to all the women in the Latino community. 

Mrs. Carolyne Dymond, a teacher at Naugatuck High School responded to the question, “Do you feel that Sonia Sotomayor’s induction into the SCOTUS was a triumph for Hispanic/Latinx community? If so, why?” She responded by saying, “(Yes) Not only because she is the perfect judge to represent her heritage and her gender but also because she overcame great obstacles in her childhood to reach the highest court in the country.”

In “A Latina Judge’s Voice,” Sotomayor states, “I became a Latina by the way I love and live my life. My family showed me by their example how wonderful and vibrant life is and how wonderful and magical it is to have a Latina soul. They taught me to love being a Puertorriqueña  and to love America and value its lesson that great things could not be achieved if one works for it.”

When President Barack Obama nominated federal judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court in 2009, it was hailed as a major milestone in The Nation’s history. According to the AFA, Her colleagues on the federal bench praised her as “a role model of aspiration, discipline… and integrity.” 

She built a reputation as a courageous prosecutor of violent crimes as an assistant district attorney in New York City. When President George H.W. Bush appointed her to the federal bench for the Southern District of New York, she was still in her thirties. One of the 450 cases she heard and possibly her most influential, resulted in the termination of the major league baseball strike, just in time for the season’s opening day. She was known as the justice who “saved baseball”. 

Sotomayor has already heard over 3,000 cases and written about 380 decisions since President Clinton nominated her to the United States Court of Appeals. She is now the only sitting Justice with trial court experience, and she has brought more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any other appointee in the last century.