Sunday, May 17, 2009

Floridian's Perspective on President's Choice for Supreme Court

By Paula Mateo
The Hispanic or Latino community is unified in their voice, when they say "Somos una personas" we are one people. To our sisters and brothers, who have paved the way to diversity as African-Americans, please understand we don't own diversity. We need to embrace change for all people and acknowledge it is time for this large group of American citizens to have a voice on the high court. Is it a realistic vision that a court who decides and interprets the laws for all, should simply be comprised of mostly white males and only one female? While we reveled in the joy of Thurgood Marshall, we cried in agony over Clarence Thomas. We need change. The court is increasingly senior in age, and our young President will have plenty of time to make further appointments.

Justice Sotomayor was passed over by the Bush Administration. It would break my heart to see her possible appointment derailed by special interest minority groups that should embrace WOMEN of all COLOR. President Obama is a multi-cultural American. As we began to shed the years of slavery and segregation, America will become a more splendid and blended culture. My children are multi-cultural. I'm black and my ex-husband is White-Hispanic of Puerto Rican descent. I can tell you, to have Justice Sotomayor on the Supreme Court would do for Hispanics what President Obama did for African-Americans. It would validate that they too have a voice, and that voice should be heard. Hispanics are our brothers and sisters of inclusion, not exclusion.

See it's not always about who got on the bus first, sometimes it's about who will get off at the last stop. The last stop in racial and gender disparity. Equal protection for all Americans under the law. The last stop in inequality. When we stop having to open the door, because we've torn it off the hinges. Let's save the fight for our Republican opposition and not fight amongst each other. As women, we are known for our compassion and our sense of fair play. It's with that thought that Women For Change of North Florida proudly supports Sonya Sotomayor for SCOTUS. Let me leave you with this thought by Justice Thurgood Marshall: "“None of us got where we are solely by pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps. We got here because somebody - a parent, a teacher, an Ivy League crony or a few nuns - bent down and helped us pick up our boots.” I am asking you all to help Justice Sotomayor, pick up her boots!

Time for a Hispanic Supreme Court Justice?

Supreme Court Justice David Souter's imminent retirement has given the Obama administration a chance to do something that has never been done before: Appoint a Latina to the Supreme Court. And chances are looking good for NYC native Sonia Sotomayor.

At a recent meeting convened by senior White House officials, potential replacements were discussed and the name that kept on coming up again and again and seems to be President Barack Obama's favorite is that of Boricua judge Sotomayor. Currently a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, Sotomayor, 54, was born and raised in a Bronx housing project before rising to prominence. She garnered a full scholarship to prestigious Princeton University in 1972, only 3 years after the school began accepting women. From there she moved on to Yale Law School.

Although branded an "unlikely" success story by many in the media, Sotomayor never had any doubt as to where she was headed. She always knew she was going to be successful, "I was going to college and I was going to become an attorney, and I knew that when I was 10," Sotomayor told the NY Daily News, "Ten. That's no jest."

In 1991, Sen. Daniel Patrick Monynihan recommended Sotomayor to the first President Bush for a seat in the U.S. Court of Appeals, and Bush came through on a promise to appoint a Latino to a district court in New York. At the age of 40 Sotomayor became the youngest and the first judge of Puerto Rican descent in the Southern District of New York.

Paula Mateo - Chairwoman-Women For Change
"We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit.” - Aristotle


  1. President Obama has the present opportunity to do something that has never been done before. APPOINT AN AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMAN TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT!

  2. I would just be happy with another woman or man of color in the position. Will Obama appoint an African American woman because she's black? Do I need to mention Condi?

  3. Will President Obaman appoint an African-American woman "even though she is Black." Have those who endorse Sotomayor read her opinions? I have read many of them. In 80% of the cases involving a minority, she ruled AGAINST the minority. She may not be pro choice--her Mexico City opinion suggests she may further restrict a woman's right to choose. Is this the kind of person we need on the Supreme Court? I think not.