Politics & Government

Wichita residents weigh in on Sotomayor

Nicki Scheid remembered that as a young girl, the nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor to the U.S. Supreme Court was the biggest thing in her life.

Decades later, the court has just one female justice. That shows the significance of Monday's hearing for Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Scheid said.

"We have a very diverse country, and it seems silly that our court is so one-sided," she said.

"The fact she's a minority woman is a good thing, but the main thing is she's a damn good judge."

With the hearings under way, Wichitans spoke out about the controversial nominee.

Scheid, vice president of the Wichita National Organization for Women, was one of about 15 people who attended a watch party at Frida's Mexican Grill, 1580 W. 21st St. Those who attended said they came to witness history.

"It's just a proud time for our country," said Estela Martinez, who attended with her husband, Oscar. "Being of Mexican descent, it makes me very proud to have someone who's Hispanic nominated. But first of all I think it's important for our country."

The watch party was hosted by the Kansas Latino Legislative Caucus, Kansas Black Legislative Caucus, Butler County Community College, Mana de Wichita and Catholics for Sotomayor.

"I'm just very proud to see a woman making it this far," said Kari Ann Rinker, a NOW lobbyist. "One of the most disappointing aspects to me personally as a citizen of this land is inadequate representation at all levels of government. Any time we see such a high-profile step toward that is very empowering and exciting."

To read the complete article, visit www.kansas.com.

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