By a 68-31 margin, the Senate has confirmed Judge Sonia Sotomayor as the first Latina Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Sotomayor’s swearing-in ceremony could take place as soon as tomorrow. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) released a statement praising the confirmation:
The confirmation of this immensely qualified individual, with her long history of public service, is an historic moment for the Senate, the judiciary, the Hispanic community, and each and every American. Her life story is the essence of the American dream. Regardless of our differences, this is a moment in which we can all celebrate the belief that in America, all things are possible. History will recall this time when we crossed paths with the quintessentially American journey of Sonia Sotomayor, and when the country took yet another step forward in fulfilling the promise of our great Nation.
The Center For American Progress released the following statement:
Today the nation celebrates another historic moment with the Senate’s endorsement of the first Latina nominated to the Supreme Court. Just as President Barack Obama’s own historic election inspired millions of young Americans to strive to follow in his footsteps, Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s life story teaches that no American should limit their aspirations.
Sotomayor’s confirmation also affirms what was obvious the moment President Obama introduced her to the American people: Sotomayor’s brilliant intellect, compelling life story, solid credentials, extensive judicial experience, and 17-year record of fidelity to the law prepare her well for the Supreme Court.
Unfortunately, Sotomayor joins a Supreme Court dominated by deeply conservative justices hostile to the laws Congress enacted to protect Americans. These justices have consistently placed employers’ interests ahead of laws forbidding employment discrimination, ignored the plain meaning of laws protecting the environment, and repeatedly seized opportunities to immunize corporate interests from the law. Sotomayor’s record of faithfully applying the law to all the parties who appear before her is exactly the change Americans voted for last November.
The confirmation of President Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee is a victory for all Americans who believe in equal justice under the law. She will make an outstanding justice.
,President Obama also spoke after Sotomayor’s confirmation, saying, “These core American ideals — justice, equality, and opportunity — are the very ideals that have made Judge Sotomayor’s own uniquely American journey possible. They’re ideals she’s fought for throughout her career, and the ideals the Senate has upheld today in breaking yet another barrier and moving us yet another step closer to a more perfect union.”