WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama named federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor as the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice on Tuesday, praising her as "an inspiring woman" with both the intellect and compassion to interpret the Constitution wisely.
Obama said Sotomayor has more experience as a judge than any current member of the high court had when nominated, adding she has earned the "respect of colleagues on the bench," the admiration of lawyers who appear in her court and "the adoration of her clerks."
"She has never forgotten where she began," said Obama, who praised Sotomayor for her "wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life's journey."
Sotomayor said she was "deeply moved" by her nomination. "My heart today is bursting with gratitude."
She said she hopes to be seen as an "ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities."
Now, of course, we can expect to hear much wailing and gnashing of teeth from the right about Obama's selection process. We especially will be hearing what a "crazy Latina" Sotomayor is -- because that's what they've already been trotting out.