Last weekend my family attended the second ever community swearing in ceremony for one of our favorite Congressional reps: Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez. Her FIRST community swearing in ceremony took place 20 years ago, when she was first elected to Congress, and at that FIRST ceremony she was sworn in before the local Brooklyn community by a then little known local judge named Sonia Sotomayor. (Note the community swearing in is purely ceremonial and intended to celebrate with your local friends, allies, and constituents).
Nydia is the reason why Sotomayor is now a Supreme Court Justice.
Here is Nydia testifying for Sonia Sotomayor for Supreme Court:
And here is video of Nydia at the 2012 Democratic Convention:
My family got invited to the Community Swearing in Ceremony for Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez. Not sure why we got invited since she is not our Congresswoman and our own Congresswoman (Yvette Clarke) has not invited us to anything. But Nydia is one of our favorite members of Congress and one with whom I have had many excellent conversations with at parties and political events.
Whenever Nydia and I see eachother we give eachother a big hug because we both know we have fought through, in our own ways (her far more than me!), a lot of tough times trying to get both better and more Democrats elected and trying to get our government more effective and progressive on ALL levels. I appreciate her hugs because I know it means we are on the same page, and I hope she realizes I appreciate her efforts as well.
20 years ago the judge who swore her in before a crowd of assembled Brooklynites was Sonia Sotomayor. This year, to celebrate her 20th year in Congress, Nydia chose to be sworn in by the Hon. Judge Deborah A. Batts, who was introduced as the first black, openly LGBT federal judge in the country (if I heard correctly).
Gives you a sense of what it means to know Nydia Velasquez. From the Hon. Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Hon. Judge Deborah Batts, the career of Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez spans 20 years of major progress, with Nydia ALWAYS being at the forefront of that progress. read more »
This is from awhile back, but never got around to posting it here. With the Sotomayor hearings coming up, this is worth keeping in mind.
I have known Jo Anne Simon for several years and she is currently one of the district leaders for my area. I have also endorsed her for City Council. Locally Jo Anne Simon is best known for being one of only a handful of district leaders to stand up to local corruption. Nationally, she is known for he role as an advocate for disabled rights. I recently learned that in this capacity she has first hand knowledge of what it is like to argue before Judge Sotomayor, and I think her comments are worth knowing as Sotomayor is scrutinized for her Supreme Court nomination.
The National Jewsih Democratic Council issued this statement regarding the Sotomayor nomination:
Obama Makes the Right Choice with Selection of Sotomayor to the Supreme Court
NJDC welcomes President Barack Obama’s selection of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to fill the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy. With the selection of Sotomayor, Obama has shown sound judgment and profound respect for our nation’s highest court by selecting an individual who has strong credentials, is highly regarded, and is committed to our constitutional values, rights, and liberties.
We are also proud of Obama’s commitment to have the Supreme Court reflect America’s rich and diverse population, by selecting the first Hispanic justice. More importantly, the President’s nominee has the intellectual capacity and real world experience to be a world class justice.
We applaud this selection and expect the nomination of Sotomayor to receive Senate confirmation in a timely manner. read more »
Here's what they're saying.
[...]“In addition to having more overall judicial experience than anyone confirmed for the Court in the past 70 years, Sotomayor will bring an important perspective to the Court as both a woman and a Latina. Her life story, which has taken her from a public housing project in the Bronx to the finest schools in the county and a distinguished legal career, is beyond compelling. It will give the Court some needed understanding of how ordinary Americans live. Her outstanding legal mind, and her compelling life experience, is just the combination this Court needs in its next justice.
“Given her track record of excellence and moderation, and her life story, it’s going to be very hard for any senator, Republican or Democrat, to vote against her.”
“I spoke with President Obama this morning and told him that he had made a historic and fantastic decision,” said Senator Gillibrand. “In Judge Sotomayor, we have a superbly qualified jurist, who understands, respects, and connects with the people whose lives will be affected by the Court. Judge Sotomayor will bring invaluable experience and much needed diversity to our nation’s highest court. I look forward to a respectful and swift confirmation process in which Congress and the American people can learn more about Judge Sotomayor’s phenomenal qualifications.”
Paterson and Smith over the fold. read more »
President Obama will announce his pick to replace retiring Justice David Souter today at 10:15 Eastern. Souter, an appointee of George H.W. Bush, will retire at the end of this term.
His seat will be filled, the Senate willing, by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, who has served on the New York-based United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit since 1998. Like Souter, interestingly, she was appointed to her current seat by the first President Bush.
From her Times bio:
On the district court bench, Judge Sotomayor earned a reputation as a sharp, outspoken and fearless jurist, someone who does not let powerful interests bully, rush or cow her into a decision. "She does not have much patience for people trying to snow her," said one lawyer in 1995, who had cases pending before the judge and asked not to be identified. "You can't do it."
While still in her 30s, Judge Sotomayor became the youngest judge in the Southern District of New York. She was the first American of Puerto Rican descent to be appointed to the Federal bench in New York City.
All in all, a solid choice, but expect shrieking from the usual suspects. Apparently, Sotomayor has handed down decisions and made arguments that betray a belief in affirmative action.