Press Releases

 

Wednesday
May272009

Shea-Porter Announces Over $6 Million for UNH National Oceanic and Atmospheric Joint Hydrographic Center 

WASHINGTON – Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter today announced that the University of New Hampshire/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Joint Hydrographic Center will receive $6,335,000 in funding. This grant will continue the research program at the Joint Hydrographic Center for surveying, seafloor mapping, electronic charting, and data visualization. It will study the data suitability and methodology for delineation of the U.S. continental margin and will develop innovative approaches to mapping essential fish habitat. This grant is through the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States Department of Commerce.

 

“This grant will help our researchers at the University of New Hampshire with their important work,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “The Administration and Congress are continuing their commitment to science.”

 

Wednesday
May272009

DNC - Chairman Kaine Praises Selection of Sonia Sotomayor As Nominee to Supreme Court (English & Spanish) 

Washington, DC – Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine issued the following statement after President Obama announced his selection of Sonia Sotomayor as his nominee to the United States Supreme Court. Chairman Kaine, the current Governor of Virginia, worked as a civil rights lawyer for 17 years. His experience includes substantial trial and appellate-levellegal work.

 

“Nominating a justice to the Supreme Court of the United States is one of a President’s most serious responsibilities. Today, President Obama announced an outstanding nominee in Sonia Sotomayor. Her experience in the American judicial system, coupled with her inspiring life story and fierce intellect, make her uniquely qualified to serve on the nation’s highest court.

 

“Sonia Sotomayor was born and raised in a public housing project in the South Bronx to immigrant parents of Puerto Rican descent. Sotomayor’s mother instilled in her a belief in the power of a good education and driven by that belief, Sotomayor graduated with the highest honors from Princeton University and Yale Law School.

 

“Sotomayor has worked at nearly every level of the American judicial system for the past three decades: as a district attorney prosecuting violent crimes, as a corporate litigator working on complex commercial cases, as a federal district judge, and most recently, as a judge on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She has been lauded as a fearless jurist, with a sharp and independent mind and a deep commitment to the rule of law and our constitutional traditions.

 

“In every way imaginable, Sonia Sotomayor has lived the American dream. She will be the Court’s first Latina, its third woman, and the only Justice on the current court with experience as a trial judge. I commend President Obama on his choice and congratulate Judge Sotomayor on her nomination."

 

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Presidente del Comité Nacional Demócrata Tim Kaine elogia la medida del Presidente Obama de nominar a Sonia Sotomayor para la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos

 

Washington, DC – El presidente del Comité Nacional Demócrata, Tim Kaine emitió las siguientes declaraciones después de que el Presidente Obama nominara a Sonia Sotomayor para la Corte Suprema de Justicia. El presidente Kaine, que actualmente se desempeña como Gobernador del estado de Virginia, trabajó como abogado de derechos civiles durante 17 años. Tiene mucha experiencia en las cortes judiciales y en los tribunales de apelación.

 

“Una de las responsabilidades más serias del presidente es nominar un juez a la Corte Suprema de los Estados Unidos. El día de hoy, el presidente Obama nominó a una excelente candidata, Sonia Sotomayor. La jueza está excepcionalmente cualificada para el cargo, gracias a su experiencia en el sistema jurídico de los Estados Unidos, su biografía inspiradora y su agudo intelecto.

 

“Sonia Sotomayor, hija de padres puertorriqueños, nació y se crió en un complejo de viviendas subsidiadas del sur del Bronx. La madre de Sotomayor le inculcó la importancia de una buena educación, y, guiada por este valor, Sotomayor se graduó con los más altos honores de la Universidad de Princeton y de la Facultad de Derecho de Yale.

 

“Sotomayor ha trabajado en prácticamente todos los niveles del sistema judicial norteamericano durantes tres décadas: como procuradora procesando crímenes violentos; como abogada corporativa trabajando en casos comerciales complejos; como jueza federal de distrito y, recientemente, como jueza en la corte de apelaciones. Se le ha alabado como una jurista intrépida, de intelecto agudo e independiente que tiene un compromiso muy arraigado con la ley y nuestras tradiciones constitucionales.

 

“De todas las maneras posibles de imaginar, Sonia Sotomayor ha vivido el sueño americano. Será la primera latina en la Corte Suprema de Justicia, la tercera mujer y la única jueza en la corte actual que tiene experiencia en las cortes judiciales. Elogio al presidente Obama por esta decisión y felicito a la Jueza Sotomayor por esta nominación.”

 

 

Wednesday
May272009

Daily Grind: Time for Pelosi to Step Down 

Editorial: Time for Nancy Pelosi to Step Down
Speaker Pelosi's blatant disregard for the truth is beyond the pale.

 

Editorial: Obama Blinks
The Obama Administration was finally forced to back off its threat to withhold the supplemental Medicaid funds from California.

 

...As Fed Fights The Last Depression Is It Losing The Inflation Battle?
The Fed's policy of fighting a contraction with monetary stimulus, coupled with the unusually large government interventions in just about every aspect of the economy, will eventually be shown to have actually resulted in prolonging the depth and breadth of this recession.

 

Tuesday
May262009

WH Media - Remarks by the President in Nominating Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court 

REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT

IN NOMINATING

JUDGE SONIA SOTOMAYOR TO THE UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT

 

 

10:13 A.M. EDT

 

 

THE PRESIDENT: Thank you. Well, I'm excited, too. (Laughter.)

 

Of the many responsibilities granted to a President by our Constitution, few are more serious or more consequential than selecting a Supreme Court justice. The members of our highest court are granted life tenure, often serving long after the Presidents who appointed them. And they are charged with the vital task of applying principles put to paper more than 20 [sic] centuries ago to some of the most difficult questions of our time.

 

So I don't take this decision lightly. I've made it only after deep reflection and careful deliberation. While there are many qualities that I admire in judges across the spectrum of judicial philosophy, and that I seek in my own nominee, there are few that stand out that I just want to mention.

 

First and foremost is a rigorous intellect -- a mastery of the law, an ability to hone in on the key issues and provide clear answers to complex legal questions. Second is a recognition of the limits of the judicial role, an understanding that a judge's job is to interpret, not make, law; to approach decisions without any particular ideology or agenda, but rather a commitment to impartial justice; a respect for precedent and a determination to faithfully apply the law to the facts at hand.

 

These two qualities are essential, I believe, for anyone who would sit on our nation's highest court. And yet, these qualities alone are insufficient. We need something more. For as Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "The life of the law has not been logic; it has been experience." Experience being tested by obstacles and barriers, by hardship and misfortune; experience insisting, persisting, and ultimately overcoming those barriers. It is experience that can give a person a common touch and a sense of compassion; an understanding of how the world works and how ordinary people live. And that is why it is a necessary ingredient in the kind of justice we need on the Supreme Court.

 

The process of reviewing and selecting a successor to Justice Souter has been rigorous and comprehensive, not least because of the standard that Justice Souter himself has set with his formidable intellect and fair-mindedness and decency. I've sought the advice of members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, including every member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. My team has reached out to constitutional scholars, advocacy organizations, and bar associations representing an array of interests and opinions. And I want to thank members of my staff and administration who've worked so hard and given so much of their time as part of this effort.

 

After completing this exhaustive process, I have decided to nominate an inspiring woman who I believe will make a great justice: Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the great state of New York. (Applause.)

 

Over a distinguished career that spans three decades, Judge Sotomayor has worked at almost every level of our judicial system, providing her with a depth of experience and a breadth of perspective that will be invaluable as a Supreme Court justice.

 

It's a measure of her qualities and her qualifications that Judge Sotomayor was nominated to the U.S. District Court by a Republican President, George H.W. Bush, and promoted to the Federal Court of Appeals by a Democrat, Bill Clinton. Walking in the door she would bring more experience on the bench, and more varied experience on the bench, than anyone currently serving on the United States Supreme Court had when they were appointed.

 

Judge Sotomayor is a distinguished graduate of two of America's leading universities. She's been a big-city prosecutor and a corporate litigator. She spent six years as a trial judge on the U.S. District Court, and would replace Justice Souter as the only justice with experience as a trial judge, a perspective that would enrich the judgments of the Court.

 

For the past 11 years she has been a judge on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit of New York, one of the most demanding circuits in the country. There she has handed down decisions on a range of constitutional and legal questions that are notable for their careful reasoning, earning the respect of colleagues on the bench, the admiration of many lawyers who argue cases in her court, and the adoration of her clerks who look to her as a mentor.

 

During her tenure on the District Court, she presided over roughly 450 cases. One case in particular involved a matter of enormous concern to many Americans, including me: the baseball strike of 1994-1995. (Laughter.) In a decision that reportedly took her just 15 minutes to announce, a swiftness much appreciated by baseball fans everywhere -- (laughter) -- she issued an injunction that helped end the strike. Some say that Judge Sotomayor saved baseball. (Applause.)

 

Judge Sotomayor came to the District Court from a law firm where she was a partner focused on complex commercial litigation, gaining insight into the workings of a global economy. Before that she was a prosecutor in the Manhattan DA's office, serving under the legendary Robert Morgenthau, an early mentor of Sonia's who still sings her praises today. There, Sonia learned what crime can do to a family and a community, and what it takes to fight it. It's a career that has given her not only a sweeping overview of the American judicial system, but a practical understanding of how the law works in the everyday lives of the American people.

 

But as impressive and meaningful as Judge Sotomayor's sterling credentials in the law is her own extraordinary journey. Born in the South Bronx, she was raised in a housing project not far from Yankee Stadium, making her a lifelong Yankee's fan. I hope this will not disqualify her -- (laughter) -- in the eyes of the New Englanders in the Senate. (Laughter.)

 

Sonia's parents came to New York from Puerto Rico during the second world war, her mother as part of the Women's Army Corps. And, in fact, her mother is here today and I'd like us all to acknowledge Sonia's mom. (Applause.) Sonia's mom has been a little choked up. (Laughter.) But she, Sonia's mother, began a family tradition of giving back to this country. Sonia's father was a factory worker with a 3rd-grade education who didn't speak English. But like Sonia's mother, he had a willingness to work hard, a strong sense of family, and a belief in the American Dream.

 

When Sonia was nine, her father passed away. And her mother worked six days a week as a nurse to provide for Sonia and her brother -- who is also here today, is a doctor and a terrific success in his own right. But Sonia's mom bought the only set of encyclopedias in the neighborhood, sent her children to a Catholic school called Cardinal Spellman out of the belief that with a good education here in America all things are possible.

 

With the support of family, friends, and teachers, Sonia earned scholarships to Princeton, where she graduated at the top of her class, and Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal, stepping onto the path that led her here today.

 

Along the way she's faced down barriers, overcome the odds, lived out the American Dream that brought her parents here so long ago. And even as she has accomplished so much in her life, she has never forgotten where she began, never lost touch with the community that supported her.

 

What Sonia will bring to the Court, then, is not only the knowledge and experience acquired over a course of a brilliant legal career, but the wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life's journey.

 

It's my understanding that Judge Sotomayor's interest in the law was sparked as a young girl by reading the Nancy Drew series -- (laughter) -- and that when she was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of eight, she was informed that people with diabetes can't grow up to be police officers or private investigators like Nancy Drew. And that's when she was told she'd have to scale back her dreams.

 

Well, Sonia, what you've shown in your life is that it doesn't matter where you come from, what you look like, or what challenges life throws your way -- no dream is beyond reach in the United States of America.

 

And when Sonia Sotomayor ascends those marble steps to assume her seat on the highest court of the land, America will have taken another important step towards realizing the ideal that is etched above its entrance: Equal justice under the law.

 

I hope the Senate acts in a bipartisan fashion, as it has in confirming Judge Sotomayor twice before, and as swiftly as possible so that she can take her seat on the Court in September and participate in deliberations as the Court chooses which cases it will hear this coming year.

 

And with that, I'd like all of you to give a warm greeting as I invite Judge Sotomayor to say a few words. (Applause.)

 

JUDGE SOTOMAYOR: I was just counseled not to be nervous. (Laughter.) That's almost impossible. (Laughter.)

 

Thank you, Mr. President, for the most humbling honor of my life. You have nominated me to serve on the country's highest court, and I am deeply moved.

 

I could not, in the few minutes I have today, mention the names of the many friends and family who have guided and supported me throughout my life and who have been instrumental in helping me realize my dreams. I see many of those faces in this room. Each of you, whom I love deeply, will know that my heart today is bursting with gratitude for all you have done for me.

 

The President has said to you that I bring my family. In the audience is my brother, Juan Sotomayor -- he's a physician in Syracuse, New York; my sister-in-law, Tracey; my niece, Kylie -- she looks like me -- (laughter) -- my twin nephews, Conner and Corey. I stand on the shoulders of countless people, yet there is one extraordinary person who is my life aspiration -- that person is my mother, Celina Sotomayor. (Applause.)

 

My mother has devoted her life to my brother and me, and as the President mentioned, she worked often two jobs to help support us after Dad died. I have often said that I am all I am because of her, and I am only half the woman she is.

 

Sitting next to her is Omar Lopez, my mom's husband and a man whom I have grown to adore. I thank you for all that you have given me and continue to give me. I love you. (Applause.)

I chose to be a lawyer, and ultimately a judge, because I find endless challenge in the complexities of the law. I firmly believe in the rule of law as the foundation for all of our basic rights. For as long as I can remember, I have been inspired by the achievement of our Founding Fathers. They set forth principles that have endured for more than two centuries. Those principles are as meaningful and relevant in each generation as the generation before. It would be a profound privilege for me to play a role in applying those principles to the questions and controversies we face today.

 

Although I grew up in very modest and challenging circumstances, I consider my life to be immeasurably rich. I was raised in a Bronx public housing project, but studied at two of the nation's finest universities. I did work as an assistant district attorney, prosecuting violent crimes that devastate our communities. But then I joined a private law firm and worked with international corporations doing business in the United States. I have had the privilege of serving as a Federal District Court trial judge, and am now serving as a Federal Appellate Circuit Court judge.

 

This wealth of experiences, personal and professional, have helped me appreciate the variety of perspectives that present themselves in every case that I hear. It has helped me to understand, respect, and respond to the concerns and arguments of all litigants who appear before me, as well as to the views of my colleagues on the bench. I strive never to forget the real-world consequences of my decisions on individuals, businesses, and government.

 

It is a daunting feeling to be here. Eleven years ago, during my confirmation process for appointment to the Second Circuit, I was given a private tour of the White House. It was an overwhelming experience for a kid from the South Bronx. Yet never in my wildest childhood imaginings did I ever envision that moment, let alone did I ever dream that I would live this moment.

 

Mr. President, I greatly appreciate the honor you are giving me, and I look forward to working with the Senate in the confirmation process. I hope that as the Senate and the American people learn more about me they will see that I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences. Today is one of those experiences.

 

Thank you again, sir. (Applause.)

 

END 10:53 A.M. EDT

 

Tuesday
May262009

WH Media - Background on Judge Sonia Sotomayor 

Family members of Judge Sotomayor in attendance at today’s East Room announcement:

Celina Sotomayor (mother)
Omar Lopez (stepfather)
Juan Sotomayor (brother)
Tracey Sotomayor (sister-in-law)
Kylie Sotomayor (niece)
Conner and Corey Sotomayor (nephews)

 

Judge Sonia Sotomayor

 

Sonia Sotomayor has served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit since October 1998. She has been hailed as “one of the ablest federal judges currently sitting” for her thoughtful opinions,i and as “a role model of aspiration, discipline, commitment, intellectual prowess and integrity”ii for her ascent to the federal bench from an upbringing in a South Bronx housing project.

 

Her American story and three decade career in nearly every aspect of the law provide Judge Sotomayor with unique qualifications to be the next Supreme Court Justice. She is a distinguished graduate of two of America's leading universities. She has been a big-city prosecutor and a corporate litigator. Before she was promoted to the Second Circuit by President Clinton, she was appointed to the District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H.W. Bush. She replaces Justice Souter as the only Justice with experience as a trial judge.

 

Judge Sotomayor served 11 years on the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, one of the most demanding circuits in the country, and has handed down decisions on a range of complex legal and constitutional issues. If confirmed, Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any justice in 100 years, and more overall judicial experience than anyone confirmed for the Court in the past 70 years. Judge Richard C. Wesley, a George W. Bush appointee to the Second Circuit, said “Sonia is an outstanding colleague with a keen legal mind. She brings a wealth of knowledge and hard work to all her endeavors on our court. It is both a pleasure and an honor to serve with her.”

 

In addition to her distinguished judicial service, Judge Sotomayor is a Lecturer at Columbia University Law School and was also an adjunct professor at New York University Law School until 2007.

 

An American Story

Judge Sonia Sotomayor has lived the American dream. Born to a Puerto Rican family, she grew up in a public housing project in the South Bronx. Her parents moved to New York during World War II – her mother served in the Women’s Auxiliary Corps during the war. Her father, a factory worker with a third-grade education, died when Sotomayor was nine years old. Her mother, a nurse, then raised Sotomayor and her younger brother, Juan, now a physician in Syracuse. After her father’s death, Sotomayor turned to books for solace, and it was her new found love of Nancy Drew that inspired a love of reading and learning, a path that ultimately led her to the law.

 

Most importantly, at an early age, her mother instilled in Sotomayor and her brother a belief in the power of education. Driven by an indefatigable work ethic, and rising to the challenge of managing a diagnosis of juvenile diabetes, Sotomayor excelled in school. Sotomayor graduated as valedictorian of her class at Blessed Sacrament and at Cardinal Spellman High School in New York. She first heard about the Ivy League from her high school debate coach, Ken Moy, who attended Princeton University, and she soon followed in his footsteps after winning a scholarship.

 

At Princeton, she continued to excel, graduating summa cum laude, and Phi Beta Kappa. She was a co-recipient of the M. Taylor Pyne Prize, the highest honor Princeton awards to an undergraduate. At Yale Law School, Judge Sotomayor served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal and as managing editor of the Yale Studies in World Public Order. One of Sotomayor’s former Yale Law School classmates, Robert Klonoff (now Dean of Lewis & Clark Law School), remembers her intellectual toughness from law school: “She would stand up for herself and not be intimidated by anyone.” [Washington Post, 5/7/09]

 

A Champion of the Law

Over a distinguished career that spans three decades, Judge Sotomayor has worked at almost every level of our judicial system – yielding a depth of experience and a breadth of perspectives that will be invaluable – and is currently not represented -- on our highest court. New York City District Attorney Morgenthau recently praised Sotomayor as an “able champion of the law” who would be “highly qualified for any position in which wisdom, intelligence, collegiality and good character could be assets.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/9/09]

 

A Fearless and Effective Prosecutor

Fresh out of Yale Law School, Judge Sotomayor became an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan in 1979, where she tried dozens of criminal cases over five years. Spending nearly every day in the court room, her prosecutorial work typically involved "street crimes," such as murders and robberies, as well as child abuse, police misconduct, and fraud cases. Robert Morgenthau, the person who hired Judge Sotomayor, has described her as a “fearless and effective prosecutor.” [Wall Street Journal, 5/9/09] She was cocounsel in the “Tarzan Murderer” case, which convicted a murderer to 67 and ½ years to life in prison, and was sole counsel in a multiple-defendant case involving a Manhattan housing project shooting between rival family groups.

 

A Corporate Litigator

She entered private practice in 1984, becoming a partner in 1988 at the firm Pavia and Harcourt. She was a general civil litigator involved in all facets of commercial work including, real estate, employment, banking, contracts, and agency law. In addition, her practice had a significant concentration in intellectual property law, including trademark, copyright and unfair competition issues. Her typical clients were significant corporations doing international business. The managing partner who hired her, George Pavia, remembers being instantly impressed with the young Sonia Sotomayor when he hired her in 1984, noting that “she was just ideal for us in terms of her background and training.” [Washington Post, May 7, 2009]

 

A Sharp and Fearless Trial Judge

Her judicial service began in October 1992 with her appointment to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H.W. Bush. Still in her 30s, she was the youngest member of the court. From 1992 to 1998, she presided over roughly 450 cases. As a trial judge, she earned a reputation as a sharp and fearless jurist who does not let powerful interests bully her into departing from the rule of law. In 1995, for example, she issued an injunction against Major League Baseball owners, effectively ending a baseball strike that had become the longest work stoppage in professional sports history and had caused the cancellation of the World Series the previous fall. She was widely lauded for saving baseball. Claude Lewis of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that by saving the season, Judge Sotomayor joined “the ranks of Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Jackie Robinson and Ted Williams.”

 

A Tough, Fair and Thoughtful Jurist

President Clinton appointed Judge Sotomayor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1998. She is the first Latina to serve on that court, and has participated in over 3000 panel decisions, authoring roughly 400 published opinions. Sitting on the Second Circuit, Judge Sotomayor has tackled a range of questions: from difficult issues of constitutional law, to complex procedural matters, to lawsuits involving complicated business organizations. In this context, Sotomayor is widely admired as a judge with a sophisticated grasp of legal doctrine. “’She appreciates the complexity of issues,’ said Stephen L. Carter, a Yale professor who teaches some of her opinions in his classes. Confronted with a tough case, Carter said, ‘she doesn’t leap at its throat but reasons to get to the bottom of issues.’” For example, in United States v. Quattrone, Judge Sotomayor concluded that the trial judge had erred by forbidding the release of jurors’ names to the press, concluding after carefully weighing the competing concerns that the trial judge’s concerns for a speedy and orderly trial must give way to the constitutional freedoms of speech and the press.

 

Sotomayor also has keen awareness of the law’s impact on everyday life. Active in oral arguments, she works tirelessly to probe both the factual details and the legal doctrines in the cases before her and to arrive at decisions that are faithful to both. She understands that upholding the rule of law means going beyond legal theory to ensure consistent, fair, common-sense application of the law to real-world facts. For example, In United States v. Reimer, Judge Sotomayor wrote an opinion revoking the US citizenship for a man charged with working for the Nazis in World War II Poland, guarding concentration camps and helping empty the Jewish ghettos. And in Lin v. Gonzales and a series of similar cases, she ordered renewed consideration of the asylum claims of Chinese women who experienced or were threatened with forced birth control, evincing in her opinions a keen awareness of those women’s plights.

 

Judge Sotomayor’s appreciation of the real-world implications of judicial rulings is paralleled by her sensible practicality in evaluating the actions of law enforcement officers. For example, in United States v. Falso, the defendant was convicted of possessing child pornography after FBI agents searched his home with a warrant. The warrant should not have been issued, but the agents did not know that, and Judge Sotomayor wrote for the court that the officers’ good faith justified using the evidence they found. Similarly in United States v. Santa, Judge Sotomayor ruled that when police search a suspect based on a mistaken belief that there is a valid arrest warrant out on him, evidence found during the search should not be suppressed. Ten years later, in Herring v. United States, the Supreme Court reached the same conclusion. In her 1997 confirmation hearing, Sotomayor spoke of her judicial philosophy, saying” I don’t believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should do honor to it.” Her record on the Second Circuit holds true to that statement. For example, in Hankins v. Lyght, she argued in dissent that the federal government risks “an unconstitutional trespass” if it attempts to dictate to religious organizations who they can or cannot hire or dismiss as spiritual leaders. Since joining the Second Circuit, Sotomayor has honored the Constitution, the rule of law, and justice, often forging consensus and winning conservative colleagues to her point of view.

 

A Commitment to Community

Judge Sotomayor is deeply committed to her family, to her co-workers, and to her community. Judge Sotomayor is a doting aunt to her brother Juan’s three children and an attentive godmother to five more. She still speaks to her mother, who now lives in Florida, every day. At the courthouse, Judge Sotomayor helped found the collegiality committee to foster stronger personal relationships among members of the court. Seizing an opportunity to lead others on the path to success, she recruited judges to join her in inviting young women to the courthouse on Take Your Daughter to Work Day, and mentors young students from troubled neighborhoods Her favorite project, however, is the Development School for Youth program, which sponsors workshops for inner city high school students. Every semester, approximately 70 students attend 16 weekly workshops that are designed to teach them how to function in a work setting. The workshop leaders include investment bankers, corporate executives and Judge Sotomayor, who conducts a workshop on the law for 25 to 35 students. She uses as her vehicle the trial of Goldilocks and recruits six lawyers to help her. The students play various roles, including the parts of the prosecutor, the defense attorney, Goldilocks and the jurors, and in the process they get to experience openings, closings, direct and cross-examinations. In addition to the workshop experience, each student is offered a summer job by one of the corporate sponsors. The experience is rewarding for the lawyers and exciting for the students, commented Judge Sotomayor, as “it opens up possibilities that the students never dreamed of before.” [Federal Bar Council News, Sept./Oct./Nov. 2005, p.20] This is one of many ways that Judge Sotomayor gives back to her community and inspires young people to achieve their dreams.

 

She has served as a member of the Second Circuit Task Force on Gender, Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts and was formerly on the Boards of Directors of the New York Mortgage Agency, the New York City Campaign Finance Board, and the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.

 

_________________________

 

i American Philosophical Society, Biographical Essays of Moderators, Speakers, Inductees and Award Recipients, Annual General Meeting, April 2003, at 36.

ii Honorary Degree Citation, Pace University School of Law, 2003 Commencement.