President Obama on Tuesday nominated federal appellate Judge Sonia Sotomayor for the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sotomayor, 54, would be the first Hispanic U.S. Supreme Court justice and the third woman to serve on the high court.
Sotomayor "is an inspiring woman who I believe will make a great justice," Obama said at a White House announcement.
She "has worked at almost every level of our judicial system, providing her with a depth of experience and a breadth of perspective that will be invaluable as a Supreme Court justice," he added.
Obama said Sotomayor would bring more experience on the bench than anyone currently serving on the Supreme Court when appointed.
Born and raised in a South Bronx public housing project to Puerto Rican parents, Sotomayor has distinguished herself in academia, as a big-city prosecutor, and as a leading figure on the federal bench. If confirmed, Judge Sotomayor would start with more federal judicial experience than any new Justice in 100 years.
First appointed to the Federal District Court by President George H.W. Bush, and then elevated to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals by President Bill Clinton, Judge Sotomayor is widely admired as one the finest legal minds in America today.
As a trail-blazing Latina whose career has spanned nearly every aspect of the law, Judge Sotomayor will show fidelity to the Constitution while bringing to the Court a common sense understanding of how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives.