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Sonia Sotomayor

sotomayorSONIA SOTOMAYOR is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving since August 2009. She has the distinction of being its first justice of Hispanic heritage, the first latina, its third female justice and its twelfth Roman Catholic justice.
Sotomayor graduated summa con laude from Princeton University in 1976 and received her J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was an editor at the Yale Law Journal. After her studies, she worked as an assistant district attorney in New York for four and a half years before entering private practice in 1984. She played an active role on the boards of directors for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and the New York City Campaign Finance Board.
She was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H. W. Bush in 1991; confirmation followed in 1992. In 1997, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Sotomayor has taught at the New York University School of Law and Columbia Law School. In May 2009, President Barack Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court following the retirement of Justice David Souter. Sotomayor has supported, while on court, the informal liberal bloc of justices when they divide along the commonly preceived ideological lines. During her tenure on the Supreme Court, she has been identified with concern for the rights of defendants, call for reform of the criminal justice system, and making impassioned dissents on issues of race, gender and ethnic identity.