Question:

Is Judge Sonia Sotomayor conservative or a liberal?

Answer:

Sotomayor is considered to be a liberal activist by the Republican Party. President Obama nominated her for the Supreme Court. Cha

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Sonia Maria Sotomayor (/ˈsnjə ˌstmˈjɔr/, Spanish: [ˈsonja sotomaˈʝor]; born June 25, 1954) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving since August 2009. Sotomayor is the Court's 111th justice, its first Hispanic justice, and its third female justice.

Sotomayor was born in The Bronx, New York City and is of Puerto Rican descent. Her father died when she was nine, and she was subsequently raised by her mother. Sotomayor graduated summa cum 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. She was an advocate for the hiring of Latino faculty at both schools. 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.

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The Supreme Court of the United States (first abbreviated as Scotus in 1879) was established pursuant to Article III of the United States Constitution in 1789 as the highest federal court in the United States. It has ultimate (and largely discretionary) appellate jurisdiction over all federal courts and over state court cases involving issues of federal law, plus original jurisdiction over a small range of cases. In the legal system of the United States, the Supreme Court is the final interpreter of federal constitutional law, although it may only act within the context of a case in which it has jurisdiction.

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The United States federal courts make up the judiciary branch of federal government of the United States organized under the United States Constitution and laws of the federal government. Article III of the Constitution requires the establishment of a Supreme Court and permits the Congress to create other federal courts, and place limitations on their jurisdiction. Congress has the authority to regulate the judicial system as a whole, though much of this power has been devolved to the courts themselves. The first courts were established through the Judiciary Act of 1789, which provided for the first Article III judges (who are appointed by the President with the consent of the Senate to serve until they resign, are impeached and convicted, retire, or die). Congress also has the power to establish other tribunals to assist in the execution of its powers, these are generally specialized courts. Judges who staff them normally serve fixed-terms, as are magistrate judges and bankruptcy judges who assist Article III judges. With limited exceptions, they cannot render final judgments in cases involving life, liberty, and private property rights, but may make preliminary rulings subject to review by an Article III judge.

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The United States courts of appeals (or circuit courts) are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system. A court of appeals decides appeals from the district courts within its federal judicial circuit, and in some instances from other designated federal courts and administrative agencies.

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Sotomayor

On May 26, 2009, President Barack Obama announced his selection of Judge Sonia Sotomayor for Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, to replace retiring Justice David Souter. Sotomayor's nomination was formally submitted to the United States Senate on June 1, 2009, when the 111th Congress reconvened after its Memorial Day recess. Sotomayor was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on August 6, 2009 by a 68–31 vote and was commissioned by President Obama the same day. She was sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts on August 8, 2009.

When nominated, Sotomayor was a sitting judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, to which she had been appointed by Bill Clinton. She had previously served on the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, to which she was appointed by George H. W. Bush.

David Hackett Souter (/ˈstər/; born September 17, 1939) is a retired Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. He served from 1990 until his retirement on June 29, 2009. Appointed by President George H. W. Bush to fill the seat vacated by William J. Brennan, Jr., Souter was the only Justice during his time on the Court with extensive prior court experience outside of a federal appeals court, having served as a prosecutor, a state attorney general, and a judge on state trial and appellate courts. Souter sat on both the Rehnquist and Roberts courts, and came to vote reliably with the court's liberal members. Following Souter's retirement announcement in 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor as his successor.

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A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, apex court, and highest court of appeal. Broadly speaking, the decisions of a supreme court are not subject to further review by any other court.

In a few places, the court named the "Supreme Court" is not in fact the highest court; examples include the Supreme Court of the State of New York and the former Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales. The highest court in some jurisdictions is not named the "Supreme Court", for example, the High Court of Australia; this is because decisions by the High Court could be appealed to the Privy Council.

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