President Obama hasn’t disappointed with his selection for the Supreme Court. Sonia Sotomayor was raised in public housing in the South Bronx. She graduated at the top of her class at Princeton and worked as an editor of the Law Review at Yale. She was originally nominated as a District Judge in a reciprocal deal President George H.W. Bush brokered with Sen. Patrick Moynihan. She was elevated to the Appeals Court by Bill Clinton in 1998. She was confirmed by a 67-29 vote, including seven currently-serving Republican senators (Bob Bennett, Thad Cochran, Susan Collins, Judd Gregg, Orrin Hatch, Richard Lugar, and Olympia Snowe). I’d also note that she had the vote of Jesse Helms and Little Ricky Santorum.
Her most controversial ruling was in Ricci v. DeStefano in which she sided with the city of New Haven, Connecticut against white firefighters who were challenging affirmative action in hiring. This ruling is going to be used to arouse a white backlash against her nomination. If you listen to the phone calls on CSPAN, you know that the prep work for white backlash was well prepared.
In many ways, Sotomayor is a perfect reflection of Obama. Humble beginnings combined with hyper-achievement against heavy odds. I’m impressed. But then, as a Princetonian and lifelong Yankees fan, I’m biased in her favor.