Sonia Maria Sotomayor (Spanish: [ˈsonja sotomaˈʝoɾ]; born June 25, 1954) is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She was nominated by President Barack Obama on May 26, 2009 and has served since August 8, 2009. She is the third woman to hold the position. Sotomayor is the first woman of color, first Hispanic, and first Latina member of the Court.
|Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States|
|Assumed office |
August 8, 2009
|Nominated by||Barack Obama|
|Preceded by||David Souter|
|Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit|
October 7, 1998 – August 6, 2009
|Nominated by||Bill Clinton|
|Preceded by||J. Daniel Mahoney|
|Succeeded by||Raymond Lohier|
|Judge of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York|
August 12, 1992 – October 7, 1998
|Nominated by||George H. W. Bush|
|Preceded by||John M. Walker Jr.|
|Succeeded by||Victor Marrero|
Sonia Maria Sotomayor
June 25, 1954
New York City, U.S.
(m. 1976; div. 1983)
|Education||Princeton University (AB)|
Yale University (JD)
Sotomayor was born in The Bronx, New York City, to Puerto Rican-born parents. Her father died when she was nine, and she was subsequently raised by her mother. Sotomayor graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University in 1976 and received her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor at the Yale Law Journal. She worked as an assistant district attorney in New York for four and a half years before entering private practice in 1984. She played an active role on the boards of directors for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and the New York City Campaign Finance Board.
Sotomayor was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H. W. Bush in 1991; confirmation followed in 1992. In 1997, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Her nomination was slowed by the Republican majority in the United States Senate, but she was eventually confirmed in 1998. On the Second Circuit, Sotomayor heard appeals in more than 3,000 cases and wrote about 380 opinions. Sotomayor has taught at the New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School.
In May 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Sotomayor to the Supreme Court following the retirement of Justice David Souter. Her nomination was confirmed by the Senate in August 2009 by a vote of 68–31. While on the court, Sotomayor has supported the informal liberal bloc of justices when they divide along the commonly perceived ideological lines. During her tenure on the Supreme Court, Sotomayor has been identified with concern for the rights of defendants, calls for reform of the criminal justice system, and making impassioned dissents on issues of race, gender and ethnic identity, including Schuette v. BAMN, Utah v. Strieff, and Trump v. Hawaii.