The official site for My Lifetime Commitment
Lifetime's Remarkable Women campaign honors extraordinary women who inspire and empower others to make a difference in their communities and the world.
July 10th: Sonia Sotomayor
Sonia Sotomayor, Federal Judge and Supreme Court Justice Nominee
Age: 55 Hometown: The Bronx, NY Education: Princeton University (A.B., summa cum laude) and Yale University (J.D.)
Sonia Maria Sotomayor is a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and has been nominated by President Barack Obama for appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court to replace retiring Justice David Souter. If confirmed, she would be the Court's 111th justice, its first Hispanic justice and its third female justice.
Sotomayor is of Puerto Rican descent and was born in the Bronx. Her father died when she was nine, and she was thereafter raised by her mother. Sotomayor graduated with an A.B., summa cum laude, from Princeton University in 1976, and received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor at the Yale Law Journal. She was an advocate for the hiring of Latino faculty at both schools. She worked as an assistant district attorney in New York for five years before entering private practice in 1984. She played an active role on the boards of directors of 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 and confirmed in 1992.
Sotomayor has ruled on several high-profile cases. In 1995, she issued a preliminary injunction against Major League Baseball that ended the 1994 baseball strike. Sotomayor made a ruling allowing The Wall Street Journal to publish Vince Foster's final note. 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 Senate, who wanted to deny her an easy confirmation that could enhance her prospects for a later Supreme Court nomination, but she was eventually confirmed in 1998. On the Second Circuit, Sotomayor has heard appeals in more than 3,000 cases and has written about 380 opinions. Sotomayor has also taught at the New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School.