MANATEE — A sense of pride and hope for the future spread across the local Hispanic legal community today as President Barack Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to be the first Hispanic justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.
The nomination of Sotomayor, a federal appeals court judge in New York, was the topic of discussion at the lunch table of Bradenton attorney Steve Santiago, who is of Argentine and Puerto Rican descent.
“I am very proud of her as the first Hispanic nominee,” said Santiago. “I have a young daughter, and I am looking forward to her looking at a Hispanic on the Supreme Court as a normal thing.”
Bradenton attorney Connie Mederos-Jacobs echoed those sentiments, saying she admires Sotomayor’s rise from humble beginnings to the cusp of joining the highest court in the land.
“I think her background speaks for itself, as well as the fact that presidents from both parties have nominated her to the federal bench,” said Mederos-Jacobs, who is of Cuban descent. “The first Hispanic Supreme Court justice. Wow!”
Bradenton attorney Jim Delgado, who is of Mexican and Puerto Rican descent, said he is excited that his 8-year-old daughter can look to one of the highest offices in the land and see a Hispanic woman.
“It will bring home that she can do anything, and that everything is attainable when she sees someone that looks like her,” Delgado said.
Delgado said his pride is tempered by the desire for people not only to focus on the historic nature of the nomination, but also for people to focus on Sotomayor’s qualifications.
“My hope is that the fact she is a Latina will not overshadow the fact that she is more than qualified for the job.” Delgado said.