Obama to name Sotomayor as Supreme Court pick
Obama plans to announce his nominee at 10:15 a.m. ET Tuesday, sources told CNN.
Sotomayor, a 54-year-old judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was named a district judge by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, and was elevated to her current seat by President Clinton.
Supporters say that appointment history, along with what they call her moderate-liberal views, would give her some bipartisan backing in the Senate.
But she has suffered through recent stinging criticism in the media and blogs from both the left and right over perceived — some defenders say invented — concerns about her temperament and intellect.
Some Hispanic groups expressed concern after a skit last week on “Late Show With David Letterman” compared Sotomayor with a noisy Spanish-speaking judge on a popular TV courtroom show that settles petty legal disputes.
Obama said Saturday he wants intellectual firepower and a common touch in the next Supreme Court justice and said he doesn’t “feel weighed down by having to choose … based on demographics.”
Obama’s nominee will replace retiring Justice David Souter, who announced this month he would step down when the court’s current session ends this summer.
Obama also had been under pressure to nominate a Hispanic justice to the court.
Obama’s nomination will have to be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate.
The nominee is not expected to have difficulty being confirmed in the Democratic-controlled Senate in time for the new court session in October.
The president has said he hopes to have hearings in July, with the confirmation completed before Congress leaves for the summer.
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