WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today hailed President Obama’s selection of Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit as the nominee for the opening on the United States Supreme Court created by the retirement of Justice David Souter.
“We applaud President Obama for choosing Judge Sonia Sotomayor to become our nation’s next U.S. Supreme Court Justice,” said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign. “The U.S. Supreme Court decides cases that intimately affect the lives of all Americans. We are confident that Judge Sotomayor has a demonstrated understanding and commitment to protecting the liberty and equality of all Americans.”
The Human Rights Campaign is encouraged by Judge Sotomayor’s record of fair-minded decisions. Judge Sotomayor has consistently recognized the constitutional right to privacy, first articulated in Griswold, that lays the foundation for fundamental rights for LGBT people.
Judge Sotomayor was born in June of 1954 in the Bronx, New York and graduated from Yale Law School in 1979. Judge Sotomayor began her legal career at the New York County District Attorney's Office where she was an Assistant District Attorney from 1979 to 1984. In 1984 she went into private practice with the firm of Pavia & Harcourt in New York City, where she practiced until 1992. She was nominated as a federal judge by President George H.W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate in 1992. She was subsequently nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and confirmed by the Senate in 1998.
Judge Sotomayor’s nomination makes her only the third woman and first Latina nominated to our nation’s highest court. Once confirmed, Judge Sotomayor will be the second woman on Supreme Court, in addition to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We praise President Obama for his commitment to diversity and expanding the number of women on the Court. Judge Sotomayor clearly possesses the intellectual rigor and experience required of a Supreme Court Justice and we are confident her knowledge and expertise will serve our nation well.
Learn more about federal judicial nominations and follow our work on these crucial issues on HRC’s Equality in the Courts by visiting: www.HRC.org/EqualityInTheCourts.
HRC defines a fair-minded judge as a person who demonstrates:
--A commitment to full equality under law for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans; individuals living with HIV and AIDS; women; people with disabilities and racial, ethnic, and religious minorities;
--A commitment to the constitutional right to privacy and individual liberty, including the right of two consenting adults to enter into consensual intimate relationships;
--A respect for the constitutional authority of Congress to promote equality and civil rights and provide statutory remedies for discrimination and violence;
--A sophisticated understanding of and commitment to the separation of church and state and the protection of those citizens with minority religious views;
--A respect for state legislatures' attempts to address discrimination and violence based on sexual orientation, disability, race, ethnicity and other factors through carefully crafted legislation that meets the requirements of the Constitution.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.