The Judge They Feared

Republicans have worried about a Sotomayor nomination for a long time. They knew that her legal talents and personal story would make it difficult for them to stop her from sitting on the court.

Sotomayor is smart, forthright, fearless and confident. Like any highly successful minority woman in a highly competitive profession, she’s had to be better than many of her male and white colleagues to get ahead (a fact that makes even more galling the efforts to paint Judge Sotomayor’s intellect as mediocre).

We’ve got months to mull over the politics of Judge Sotomayor’s selection. Today, let’s celebrate the significance of this nomination; not just for Latinos, but for an America moving closer to its promise of equality. 

Sherrilyn A. Ifill is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Law and a civil rights lawyer.

GALLERY: Take a look at Sonia Sotomayor’s road to Washington.

GALLERY: What do black leaders think of Sotomayor?