Sonia Sotomayor
By Kevin McCarthy and Logan Hughes


B.A. in History at Princeton University - Summa cum laude

J.D. from Yale Law School  - Served as editor of Yale Law Journal

Major cases as a prosecutor

Child pornography case where two men were convicted

First homicide prosecution of the "Tarzan Murderer”

Conviction of one of three defendants in a housing project shooting

Private Practice

In 1984, Sotomayor left her job as Assistant District Attorney to enter private practice. She would spend the next eight years (1984-1992) as a civil attorney with the New York City law firm of Pavia & Harcourt. From April 1984 to December 1987, Sotomayor was an associate with the firm, making partner in 1988.

During her time in private practice, Sotomayor would also run a solo practice, Sotomayor & Associates, out of her Brooklyn apartment from 1983 to 1986. This did, in fact, overlap her time as an assistant district attorney by approximately one year.


On Tuesday, May 26, 2009, President Barack Obama nominated Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States to fill the seat of Justice David Souter. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted in favor of her confirmation on July 28, 2009 in a 13-6 vote with one Republican, Senator Lindsey Graham, voting in favor. Sotomayor was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 6, 2009 on a vote of 68-31.

Notable Case As A Supreme Court Justice

Sonia Sotomayor wrote the dissenting opinion in a 6-2 case by the name of Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. In the case, the populace of Michigan voted to amend the state constitution to say that in all instances of public opportunity or employment, such as government jobs or public education, race and sex could not be used as a determining factor in any form. The majority opinion did not necessarily support the amendment, but rather Michigan’s right to make it. Sotomayor, however, argued that the raw democracy of the process did not do enough to protect minorities, and therefore the amendment violated the Equal Protection Clause.


"In her comments, Justice Sotomayor suggests that the long-term goals in making and explaining judicial decisions should be to build respect for the law as an important institution in our lives and to enable people to identify with democracy." -"Justice Sotomayor and the Jurisprudence of Procedural Justice", Yale Law Journal

Sonia Sotomayor is a Roman Catholic

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