By Brian Malcom
Judge Sotomayor's nomination to the Supreme Court brings up an interesting topic: How does one become a Supreme Court Justice? There really is only one way to find out, and that is to look to the backgrounds of the justices of the past, present and possibly future. In the interest of current events, we will begin with the Honorable Sonia Sotomayor.
Things that helped her nomination:
1. According to ATL, Obama "picked Judge Sotomayor based on three factors: (a) her overall level of intellectual capacity and legal acumen, reflected in her academic record, her work as a lawyer, and her judicial service; (b) her approach to judging, including her legal craftsmanship and her ability to win over colleagues on the Second Circuit; and (c) her compelling personal story . . . ."
2. Being a woman. “It sends the wrong signal to have only one woman among the nine justices[.]” - Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
3. Empathy. According to CNN, Judge Sotomayor said that the gender and ethnicity of judges affect their judicial decision making, at a 2001 U.C. Berkley symposium.
4. A Democratic Congress. If the Democrats had less of a majority or no majority at all, Judge Sotomayor would face a much more difficult confirmation process than she likely will face in the coming months.
5. A recently-weakened GOP presence on the Senate Judiciary Committee.
6. Being the first Hispanic nominated to the High Court. How can the Republicans run the political gauntlet of voting AGAINST a female, hispanic, well-educated federal judge? Answer: they cannot.