FOR THE WEEK OF JUNE 01, 2009
Historic Supreme Court nominee heads to Senate hearings
Your state's two senators can participate in the final confirmation vote on this nomination. Look for quotes or other coverage of their views. Discuss whether you think party status affects their positions.
Journalists try to include Hispanics and other minority group members in general coverage. After checking recent issues, share comments on whether this paper reflects local diversity through photos, quotes and topics.
Americans want to see, as well as read about, Judge Sotomayor. Does this paper's website have videos of some stories, such as last week's presidential announcement? What benefits does print journalism have for this type of developing news, compared to TV networks?
We're getting acquainted with a U.S. Supreme Court choice with a background America hasn't seen before for that position. Sonia Sotomayor, a federal Appeals Court judge from New York, is nominated to become the first Hispanic justice on our highest court. Her parents immigrated from Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory in the Caribbean, and she grew up in a public housing apartment complex before graduating from two Ivy League universities -- Princeton and Yale.
President Obama picked Judge Sotomayor (pronounced so-toe-my-YORE) last week to fill a vacancy opened by Justice David Souter's voluntary retirement after nine years on the nine-member court. Her up-by-the-bootstraps background is an only-in-America story that's similar to Obama's own climb.
At the Capitol this week, she's talking with senators in preparation for summer confirmation hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee, followed by a full Senate vote.
During televised hearings, Judge Sotomayor will discuss her background, judicial approach and views on interpreting the Constitution. Republicans are sure to ask about this hot-button comment in a 2001 speech, which some critics say shows bias: "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
Barring a dramatic surprise, the New Yorker is expected to join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and seven male colleagues when the next Supreme Court term begins Oct. 5. That historic milestone stimulates pride among millions of Americans, particularly those in the largest minority group -- Hispanics. Students at a Washington, D.C., school express their joy in the video below,
President says: "She's faced down barriers, overcome the odds, lived out the American Dream that brought her parents here so long ago. And even as she has accomplished so much in her life, she has never forgotten where she began, never lost touch with the community that supported her." -- May 26 introduction of nominee at White House
Student says: "For me, it's like the next step will probably be a Hispanic as president. It means we have a chance now." -- Nancy Montesino, Cesar Chavez Public Charter School, Washington, D.C.
Professor says: "What the President and Judge Sotomayor show us is the excellence of the American melting pot." -- Trey Ellis, assistant professor of film at Columbia University
Front Page Talking Points
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Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2013
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