Press Release

For Immediate Release - May 27, 2009     

Media Contacts:

NLC, Gil Meneses, (202)-334-1119
HF, José Calderón, (516) 316-6254
MALDEF, Laura Rodriguez: (310) 956-2425
MAPA and Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana, Nativo Lopez, (714) 541-0250 or (323) 269-1575
LULAC, Lizette J. Olmos (202) 365-4553
SVREP, Lydia Camarillo, (210) 922-0225
NALACC, Carlos Fernandez, (773) 450-4176
NHEC, Juan Rodriguez, (703) 861-6064
WCVI, Patricia Gonzales, (210) 922-3118

National Latino Congreso Leadership Applauds President Obama for his Nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve on the Highest Court, the United States Supreme Court

Los Angeles, CA (May 26, 2009) The National Latino Congreso applauds
President Obama’s historic and unprecedented nomination of Judge Sonia
Sotomayor to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court. Judge Sotomayor’s exceptional judicial experience, academic credentials, undeniable persistence and intellectual curiosity will serve her well as the first Latina and third women to serve in the highest court of the land. The National Latino Congreso leadership urges the Judiciary Committee to move swiftly to confirm this historic and unprecedented nomination.

“Today’s historic appointment by President Barack Obama reflects his commitment to fulfilling a campaign pledge of making government, especially the nation’s highest court, representative of the varied and diverse composition of our nation” said Lillian Rodriguez, President Hispanic Federation and Convener of the National Latino Congreso.  “Judge Sonia Sotomayor in addition to bringing her extensive and varied judicial and legal background, will also bring to the Court a uniquely rich life experience,” concluded Rodriguez.

“National Latino Congreso urges the Senate Judiciary Committee and the
White House administration to move swiftly to confirm this historic and unprecedented nomination of Judge Sotomayor. Through her career on the bench, Judge Sotomayor has been vetted and confirmed by Republican and Democratic administrations and by the Senate,” said Antonio González, President of the William C. Velásquez Institute and Convener for the National Latino Congreso. “The National Latino Congreso anticipates broad support and prompt confirmation of her nomination,” said González.

Judge Sotomayor has the judicial intellect, temperament and the educational credentials to be an excellent Supreme Court Justice. Moreover, she has the experience of an American who started her life journey with very humble beginning and earned her legal and undergraduate degrees from Yale Law School and Princeton University. During her tenure at Yale Law School, she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal, where she also graduated summa cum laude.  Over the past decade, Judge Sotomayor has served on the Second Circuit, where she has been repeatedly recognized for her intellectual acuity,
moderation and empathy. Throughout her amazing professional journey, she has continued sharing her knowledge with the legal community — serving as a mentor and inspiration to thousands of attorneys of color and women.

“Judge Sotomayor’s contributions as one of the most highly respected jurists in our nation are unassailable. She has worked and distinguished herself at almost every level of our judicial system -as a prosecutor, litigator, trial court and appellate judge,” stated Brent Wilkes, LULAC National Executive Director and Convener, National Latino Congreso.

She has more experience on the bench than any of the current Supreme Court Judges. Judge Sotomayor has overseen over 3000 cases and written over 400 opinions in one of the most uniquely complex courts in the nation. She was first named to the U.S. District Court under the administration of President George H.W. Bush in 1992.  President Clinton then promoted her to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Judge Sotomayor possesses a unique combination of trial and appellate federal court experience, top academic and public service credentials and personal life experiences that will enhance the nation’s highest
court’s ability to take a pragmatic approach to applying legal principles, reject ideology and uphold constitution.

"NHEC applauds the nomination of Judge Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme
Court. She is a highly distinguished jurist with a long and accomplished judicial record. While she has ruled on relatively few environmental cases, those she has, such as Riverkeeper, Inc. v. EPA, definitely indicate that she will be a strong, fair and impartial arbiter of our nation's key federal environmental laws," Roger Rivera, President of the National Hispanic Environmental Council and Convener of the National Latino Congreso said in addressing this historic

“Judge Sotomayor possesses an extraordinary legal background including
criminal prosecution, civil litigation and a combination of trial and appellate federal court judicial experience, which with her top academic and public service credentials will enable her to continue pursuing excellence and justice on behalf of all Americans,” states Henry Solano, Interim MALDEF President and General Counsel and Convener, National Latino Congreso. “By naming current Circuit Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama brings to the US Supreme Court an experienced legal mind, practitioner and jurist with broad real life and cultural experiences which will not only enhance her individual analysis and decision making but provides the other members of the Court with an additional perspective for their consideration. This should add to the Court as an institution as well as help to inspire confidence in our nation’s judicial system,” concludes Solano.

The National Latino Congreso is convened by the Hispanic Federation (HF), the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), the Mexican American Political Association (MAPA), the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC), the National Day Labor Organizing Network (NDLON), the National Hispanic Environmental Council (NHEC), Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), and the William C. Velásquez Institute (WCVI).



 About WCVI

The William C. Velásquez Institute (WCVI) is a tax-exempt, non-profit, non-partisan public policy analysis organization chartered in 1985. The purpose of WCVI is to: conduct research aimed at improving the level of political and economic participation in Latino and other underrepresented communities; To provide information to Latino leaders relevant to the needs of their constituents; To inform the Latino leadership and public about the impact of public policies on Latinos; To inform the Latino leadership and public about political opinions and behavior of Latinos.


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