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It's official: Sotomayor is nation's first Latino on Supreme Court

August 6, 2009 |  1:20 pm

Judge Sonia Sotomayor sworn in at her confirmation hearings 2009

With the newest senator, Minnesota Democrat Al Franken, presiding, the Senate today confirmed the historic nomination of federal appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor on a 68-31 vote.

The first Latino, the third woman, the third person of color and the 111th justice to serve on the nation's highest court, Sotomayor will be sworn in at the Supreme Court on Saturday by Chief Justice G. John Roberts Jr.

In keeping with the historic significance of the moment, senators took the rare step of assembling at their desks on the Senate floor, rising from their seats to cast their votes. Still, that sense of occasion didn't stop most Republicans from voting against her.

"A remarkable thing in our history," said Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.). "This is the American dream."

President Obama, who nominated Sotomayor as his first Supreme Court pick, thanked the Judiciary Committee for conducting "a thorough and civil hearing . . . in a timely manner." Declaring that he was "filled with pride in this achievement and great confidence" that Sotomayor would succeed, Obama said her confirmation ensures that the phrase "equal justice under the law" is not merely inscribed on the courthouse door but respected inside the courtroom.

Now, as Ticket reported earlier, Sotomayor can start shopping for real estate in Washington.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo credit: Associated Press

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