Latinos react to Sotomayor's confirmation

August 6, 2009 11:53:12 PM PDT
The Senate vote drew an emotional response among many Hispanics who gathered across the country to watch Sotomayor's confirmation.

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It was a confirmation that prompted instantaneous celebration.

But within Latino communities, the appointment of the nation's newest Supreme Court justice means positive change.

"I was basically on the verge of tears because for the first time in my life, I felt that Latinos in the United States were being represented," said minority activist Edgar Quiroz.

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina Supreme Court justice. She's only the third woman ever appointed to the high court.

"For too long the only people on the court were white males and that's not what America looks like," said Santa Clara University Law Professor Ellen Kreitzberg.

Kreitzberg she doesn't expect sot mayor to change the balance of the court, since she's replacing a liberal justice, but she 'does' think Sotomayor will have an impact.

"She adds a lot to the court because when we look at the diversity of background and experience it adds an additional dimension to the court in the debate that's going to happen among the justices," said Kreitzberg.

In San Jose, where roughly 30 percent of the population is Hispanic, Sotomayor's confirmation was an excited topic of discussion at an immigration meeting on Thursday night.

"As a Latina I feel especially proud to see her take her rightful place among the justices of the Supreme Court," said Cindy Avitia.

"I'm very proud our nation has realized that intellect and capability comes in many shapes and sizes and colors" said community leader Vivian Miranda.

Sotomayor will begin the new session with the justices next month. They're already slated to hear arguments in cases involving finance, religion, and juvenile crime.

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