Sonia Sotomayor

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    Sonia Sotomayor in SCOTUS robe from August 21, 2009 (Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Steve Petteway source/Public domain)

    Sonia Sotomayor in SCOTUS robe from August 21, 2009 (Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Steve Petteway source/Public domain)

    In 2009 the U.S. appellate court judge Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina and the third woman appointed to serve on the United States Supreme Court.

    Born in the Bronx, she said she was inspired by Nancy Drew detective novels as a girl.

    A graduate of Princeton and Yale Law School, she worked as an assistant district attorney and in private practice for a New York law firm, before President George H.W. Bush appointed Sotomayor to the federal bench.

    As a U.S. District Court judge, she received national attention in 1995 when she ruled in favor of striking Major League Baseball players, ending an eight-month strike.

    She was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals in 1998 and there became known for her candid, direct speaking style and her carefully reasoned decisions, some of which provoked controversy.

    In May 2009 President Obama nominated Sotomayor to the Supreme Court . She is considered one of the court’s foremost voices in supporting criminal justice reform and racial, ethnic and gender equality.

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