Commentary: Sotomayor a great choice for Supreme Court

This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.

President Barack Obama has made a superb choice for nomination to the Supreme Court. Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor appears to have it all — impeccable educational credentials, first-rate professional experience and an up-by-the-bootstraps personal history that gives her selection strong personal appeal.

Barring an unexpected discovery, she seems headed for confirmation as the court's third female justice and its first acknowledged Hispanic.

This is not to say that she will – or should – sail through the Senate hearings. Even before the nomination was official, the battle lines were drawn.

On one side, prominent Hispanic and liberal groups praised her selection: A "historic appointment," said the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group. On the other, conservatives assailed the choice. One called her "the most liberal justice in history."

That is typical of the over-heated rhetoric involving Supreme Court choices, but this nomination should not fall victim to the all-out battles of previous appointments. For one thing, this judge has already won two Senate votes – once when George H.W. Bush nominated her for district judge in 1992 and again in 1998 when Bill Clinton appointed her to the appeals court. For another, she has a strong record on the bench and an undisputed familiarity with a wide array of legal topics.

As a district judge in 1995, she ended the longest strike in baseball history by issuing an injunction against team owners for alleged violations of the law during collective bargaining negotiations with players.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.