U.S. President Barack Obama has nominated a female, Hispanic
federal appeals judge to replace a retiring Supreme Court justice.
Mr. Obama announced the selection of Sonia Sotomayor (SOHN'-ya soh-toh-my-YOR') Tuesday at the White House, calling her an "inspiring woman." If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, the 54-year-old will receive a lifetime appointment to the nine-member court, and will become its first Hispanic justice.
President Obama said Sotomayor will bring to the court knowledge, experience and the "wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life's journey."
Sotomayor, who was born in New York to parents from Puerto Rico, would replace Justice David Souter, who is retiring next month after 19 years on the Supreme Court.
Appearing with the president, Sotomayor called the nomination the "most humbling honor" of her life. She also vowed to "never to forget the real world consequences of (her) decisions on individuals, businesses and government."
Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the minority party will examine Sotomayor's record before voting on her confirmation, to ensure her personal views have not stopped her from making fair decisions.