Maryland Law Professor on Sotomayor
Professor Paula Monopoli, University of Maryland School of Law, on Judge Sotomayor:
"As the Founding Director of the Women, Leadership & Equality Program at the University of Maryland School of Law, I am very pleased that the President has nominated federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill the seat of retiring United States Supreme Court Justice David Souter. As a graduate of one of the nation’s finest law schools, a former prosecutor and lawyer in private practice, a former federal district court judge and a federal court of appeals judge for ten years, Judge Sotomayor is eminently qualified to be our next Supreme Court justice.
"Judge Sotomayor brings not only a diversity of experience in the legal profession to the Court, she also brings her unique life experience as a Hispanic woman. More than fifty-percent of our population is female. Yet we currently have only one woman on the Court, Justice Ginsberg, more than twenty-five years after the first woman was appointed. While she will interpret the Constitution and statutes with the same intellectual rigor as her male colleagues, her diverse life experiences enable her to give different weight to certain elements in that interpretive process. This is why diversity of experience and gender on the bench is so essential. In the early days of our country, geographic diversity was considered vital to the legitimacy of the Court’s decisions. For the same reasons, diversity of experience is important today if citizens are to continue to embrace the Court’s decisions.
"I applaud President Obama’s nomination of Justice Sotomayor and I hope that the Senate grants her an expeditious confirmation."
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