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Obama's Supreme Court Pick
President Barack Obama announces federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor, right, as his nominee for the Supreme Court, Tuesday, May 26, 2009, in an East Room ceremony at the White House in Washington. (AP)

President Barack Obama announces federal appeals court judge Sonia Sotomayor, right, as his nominee for the Supreme Court, Tuesday, May 26, 2009, in an East Room ceremony at the White House in Washington. (AP)

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The headline of this morning: President Obama to name U.S. Court of Appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court.

Justice David Souter, headed out to retirement. Barack Obama’s first Supreme Court nominee headed before the Senate for confirmation hearings.

Sotomayor is 54. She famously grew up in a Bronx housing project, the daughter of Puerto Rican parents. She would be the court’s first Hispanic justice. The third female justice in the high court’s history.

This hour, On Point: We’ll hear the president’s announcement and look at Sonia Sotomayor.

You can join the conversation. Tell us what you think — here on this page, on Twitter, and on Facebook.


Joining us from Washington is David Savage, Supreme Court correspondent for the Los Angeles Times. Read his coverage here.

From South Bend, Ind., we’re joined by Richard Garnett, professor of law at the University of Notre Dame.

Dahlia Lithwick, legal affairs analyst and senior editor at Slate. Her latest piece is “The Bold Standard.”

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  • Joe B.

    Obama nominates an out of touch liberal like himself to the nations highest court. What else would you expect from a president who supports the right to have an abortion in the 7th, 8th, and ninth month of a pregnancy.

  • Mark Engle

    The last election put the “out of touch” label to rest. One hopes that such nominations will pull the Supreme Court back from the ideological precipice on which it has been perched.

  • Michele B

    There are so many important legal questions that go before the U.S. Supreme Court and it is ridiculous for the right to continue to solely focus on abortion. Why not ask about her views on important constitutional questions like privacy, civil liberties, freedom of speech, etc.? Those legal issues are just as important, if not more important than the pro-life/pro-choice debate.

  • Joe B.

    Defending the rights and lives of the unborn is not ridiculous.

  • Putney Swope

    If Obama is so out of touch then why did a majority vote for him.

    Joe B. your tirades are always the same. It’s interesting to me how conservatives use language to denigrate people who don’t think like they do. Words such as “reactionary” which translate into a judge who does not believe in what they do. Judge Sonia Sotomayor is now going to be subjected to the vile attacks of the right wing media and blowhards such as Rush Limbaugh. The thing is Obama is president, he has the right to nominate who he wants to just as Bush did.

  • Michele B.

    I find it interesting, Joe B., that conservatives such as yourself are willing to defend the rights of the unborn but do not seem to defend their rights once they are here.

  • Ellen Dibble

    Is she, like Souter, single?

  • http://www.richardsnotes.org Richard
  • http://www.human-dog.com Chris Weagel

    Kudos to NPR for forgoing any kind of investigative research or actual news and instead spending 17 hours this morning repeating the same 6 AP news lines about this nomination over and over and over and over and over and over and getting the all important REACTION of meaningless Washington Insiders!

    How do I set up my credit card for a recurring donation?

  • Putney Swope

    Chris, given that there are only 24 hours in a day it seems that 17 of them are not likely to happen in the morning.

  • Putney Swope

    Chris is that your web site on the link?
    If so I have to say if your going to make comments on banality it would be a good idea not to have a link to a web site which seems to revel in it.

    I wont go into the some of the really inane nonsense that I viewed for the full 1.5 minutes I wasted there.
    If this is supposed to comedy, well it’s not very funny.
    Sarah is funny, but not in a good way.

  • Jane

    NPR should know better than to refer to Puerto Ricans as “immigrants.” An immigrant is someone who comes from another country to settle in America (or another host nation). Puerto Ricas ARE Americans. No immigration here.

  • Jane

    NPR should know better than to refer to Puerto Ricans as “immigrants.” An immigrant is someone who comes from another country to settle in America (or another host nation). Puerto Ricans ARE Americans. No immigration here.

  • Joe B.

    Obama would not even support a bill that protected the life of a baby that survived an abortion (live birth abortions). Doctors in Illinois were taking any baby that survived one of those late term abortions and putting them in bins in a closet and allowing them to die without any care or treatment. The bill that was written to stop that was voted on in the IL Senate and Barack Obama was the only one to stand up and speak out against it.

  • Frederic C.

    Hey Joe,

    Abortion is god’s will.

    It may be your religious view that it is wrong, but in my view, a gestating fetus becomes a, ‘baby,’ when the mother chooses to keep it, or

  • Putney Swope

    You have to give Obama a lot of credit for choosing Sonia Sotomayor, he has put the republicans in a bind.
    If they come out with to much negative trash and fight her appointment to much it will alienate more Latinos and their votes. Something they can ill afford to do at this point in history.

    Joe you constantly make everything about abortion.
    How about the children who are dieing from our bombing raids in Afghanistan. Do you care about their livleyhood?
    What about the children of poor mothers in our own country which has the worse mortality rate of any industrial country in the world. What about all the kids who are alive now but are in foster homes? These poor children are more likely to commit crimes and to fall into being a burden to society then an unborn fetus.

  • millard-fillmore

    Sixteen comments so far without a single one from Lilya on Jews-are-to-blame-for-all-evils. I’m sure she’ll somehow find a way to connect Obama’s Supreme Court pick to Middle-East politics and derail the conversation. *laughing*

  • Lilya Lopekha


    Please let’s not get personal, OK!

    Actually, there is twist to this. American Enterprise Institute is furiously against Sonia Sotomayor.

    Do you know why?
    Hint: Harvard

  • Mike

    pretty smart of obama i just heard she was nominated, (though i have not been able to check)by the prior bush years ago, where some of the repubs in the senated voted for her.

    is it not funny that a dem must be moderate and move and be at the center of everything giving boths sides equal time for there views no matter how crazy one side may have(global warming deniers). even with a pick of a more center moderate pick the right rails and crys about how far left she is. there reasoning will probaby be she didnt pray one day so she cant be confirmed.

    Then we have the repubs who once in office runs to the far right of views,and claims mandate and not go to the center unless forced to.

    where was the cry from the right when bushs picks went on a activist approch against our 4th amendment rights?

    get ready forcrazy assuptions,spins bold face lies about Sotomayor brought to you by foxes and friends.

  • mike

    nomination for a lower court posting not Supreme Court

  • Lilya Lopekha

    Question for people who don’t like Sotomayor…

    In case she is not nominated, who would have been a better pick out to the 5-6 candidates that were mentioned in the press?

  • TANN

    If abortion is a major issues for you then donot have one, but allow others who have free will make the choice for themselvesand let God be there judge . You see those who advocate for the prolife position doesnot lay out a coherent plan on how to deal with all the public fall out, What if the father does not want the child . Can he opt out of paying for the child even if the mother wants the child . The answer is no. You see in”free” society sometimes you have to accepts the laws of the land, it even states that in the bible.

  • Maureen

    Admittedly this is not a substantive comment, but does anyone else feel the Obamas are occasionally over-familiar in their tone? Obama’s repeated reference to “Sonia’s mom” struck a wrong chord in me. I feel their efforts to make themselves sound of the people during the election has bled over into the White House, sometimes to odd effect. It just occurs to me that one doesn’t necessarily want to sound like they are at a family barbeque when announcing a Supreme Court Justice.

  • Putney Swope

    Maureen Obama has done quite a few things from his choice of Summers and Geithner who have basically sold the entire country out the the banks. He has also done a complete reversal on how we treat the enemy combatants, from torture to Guantánamo. Everyone should go to http://www.democracynow.org and watch the Memorial Day Special…Winter Soldier on the Hill: War Vets Testify Before Congress.

    This was an eye opener for me. I knew it was bad, but it’s worse than we know and what they want to admit.

    So excuse me if I don’t care about Obama’s repeated reference to “Sonia’s mom” because to me I see this pick as a pure political move. It’s a very smart one, but all politics. Is she the best one for the job? Who knows, you never do with the Supreme Court. She is certainly qualified, remember Harriet Miers.

  • ThresherK

    Where are the weak-kneed fainting couchers on the right who were bellowing “Straight up or down vote” now?

    Or shall we just count the ways Sotomayor has it all over Harriet Miers?

  • millard-fillmore

    Ah, it didn’t take long. :)

  • david

    This judge attended private schools her entire life. What does she know about struggle to get your child educated in failing public schools? Did she ever have to work was was another affirmative action baby? If she was not an hispanic female she would not be considered.

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