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A Triumph for America

El Diario/La Prensa, Editorial, Staff Posted: Aug 07, 2009

NEW YORK -- A daughter of The Bronx, New York and our nation will sit on the Supreme Court of the United States of America. Latinas and Latinos can take great pride in this breakthrough achievement.

Yesterday, the nation witnessed a triumphant moment when the U.S. Senate confirmed Sonia Sotomayor as the next Supreme Court justice. Sotomayor will be the first Hispanic and third woman to serve on a Court that has had 106 white male justices.

With her unassailable record and integrity, Sotomayor beared public scrutiny, withstood vicious attacks and skillfully navigated through tough grilling from senators with dignity and grace.

The significance of this historic appointment becomes more profound when we think of the impact on children. The youth in our nation will grow up with a given of a Latina serving on the nation's most distinguished institution. They will learn about how she dedicated herself to school and built a 17-year record in the federal judiciary.

Judge Sotomayor's ascendancy to the Supreme Court also reflects a dream and a mission.

Sotomayor is from a Puerto Rican community in The Bronx. While so many popular commentators and writers focused on stereotyping The Bronx as a wasteland, they left out a core storythe men and women like Sotomayor's mother Celina who were working hard, raising children, going to church and looking out for each other. These were the people who were weaving a community together amid racial and economic injustices thrown in their way.

The dreams of parents like Celinathat their sons and daughters would have the opportunity to fulfill their potentialhave brought our nation to this point in history.

The mission of the Puerto Rican community and civil rights groups propelled this dream forward. Were it not for their commitment to confronting racial and language discrimination, a path would not have been laid for Sotomayor and the Sotomayors to come.

But this historic moment, and all it represents, is beyond a Puerto Rican or Latino experienceit is an American story. Americans, whether they live in Appalachia, the Dakotas, South Central or other parts of the country, can relate to this story because it is about great resilience in the face of great odds.

We congratulate Sotomayor and the family and community that shaped her. President Obama deserves high praise for nominating her, and so do her wide range of supporters. Most of all, we applaud that our nation has taken a definitive step toward recognizing, not fearing, the strength of a wise Latina.

Related Articles:

Sotomayor: Roe v. Wade and the Right to Privacy

Sonia Sotomayor and the Rise of the Ghetto Nerds

Justicia!: Sotomayor and the Long March of Puerto Rican History

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