On May 26, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Federal Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about Justice Sotomayor...
Justice Sotomayor Saved Baseball
Justice Sotomayor is from the South Bronx, so it isn’t surprising that she is a big fan of the New York Yankees and baseball. In 1995 she ended a 232-day long baseball strike, ruling against the owners in favor of the players. Some say Sotomayor "saved baseball" after ending a dispute that could have ruined the sport for good. In 2009, she even threw out the first pitch at a Yankees game as part of their celebration in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.
She Wanted To Be Nancy Drew
It was as a child that Sotomayor became intrigued by the law. According to an interview she gave with NPR, one of Sotomayor's main inspirations as a kid was fictional star detective Nancy Drew. "When I was young I wanted to be a detective, like Nancy Drew," she said. Justice Sonia Sotomayor didn't become a teen detective. Instead, she made history.
Her First Judicial Nomination Came From A Republican According to CNN, Sotomayor spent the first 13 years of her legal career as a lawyer in first the public and then the private sector. In 1992, she received her first judicial appointment from the president, to the US District Court in the Southern District of New York. The president at that time was not a Democrat. She was appointed to the U.S. District Court by President George H. W. Bush.
Perry Mason Inspired Her To Be a Judge According to Biography.com, there was a specific moment when Sotomayor decided that she was going to be a judge, and it happened while she was watching Perry Mason, a legal drama from the 1950s and 1960s. She watched as a prosecutor said that he didn't mind losing if the defendant was actually innocent, and then she realized that "if that was the prosecutor's job, then the guy who made the decision to dismiss the case was the judge. That was what I was going to be."
She Has Accomplished a Number of Firsts Sotomayor was the New York Southern District’s youngest judge as well as the first federal judge in New York who was Hispanic. She was also the first woman who was Puerto Rican that served as a U.S. federal court judge. Upon her appointment as an associate justice to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, she became the first Latina and Hispanic Justice to take a seat on the bench.