Guest Voz: Senate Majority Leader Reid says lack of Republican support can’t take away significance of Sotomayor confirmation

SHARE:

By Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)
In reviewing the biography of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, it quickly becomes clear that she had to overcome many challenges to arrive where she is at today. The last challenge of her professional career was trying to convince Republican senators that she was qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid
Sadly, with the exception of nine Republican senators, they did not believe her. Their dismissal of her qualifications and extensive experience disturbs many in the Latino community who see this as validation that no matter how educated or accomplished Latinos/as become, there will be some for whom Latinos/as will never be the right fit for a particular position.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wanted to reach out to Latina Lista readers and encourage all Latinos to look past the partisan politics and know that what was accomplished by Sonia Sotomayor can be repeated among other women and other ethnicities.

There are events throughout history that have shaped the face of America. This week, the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court is one of those events that mark a turning point in our country and a new chapter in our history books.
She embodies the quintessential American success story, and will bring to the Court extensive legal and real world experience.
 
As someone who grew up in a house made of railroad tires and no plumbing in the desert of Nevada, I understand how our experiences and struggles help us develop strong real world knowledge.
I also understand how necessary and useful that knowledge is when you are making decisions that impact the lives of millions of Americans. And yet critics have pointed to discussions of her past, her experiences, or her heritage as detriments to her judicial ability.
They fundamentally miss the boat. It is precisely her up-bringing in a New York housing project, her trial and federal court experience, and her Puerto Rican heritage that make her a unique and necessary addition to the Supreme Court.
 


Judge Sotomayor’s story has opened many doors, not just for young Hispanics who dream of success, but to any young woman of any ethnicity who dreams of serving her country. 
 

In October, when Judge Sotomayor takes her seat on the bench she will make history as the third woman and first Hispanic on the Supreme Court. While it is unfortunate that many of my colleagues from across the aisle decided to oppose her confirmation, their lack of support should not take away from the significance of this historic decision.
Years from now, people will recall that Republicans could not put aside partisan politics to do what was right in this confirmation process.
 

I look forward to following Justice Sotomayor’s career on the Supreme Court as she reaches into her experiences — both personal and professional — to continue serving our country.