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Obama picks first Hispanic Supreme Court justice

In nominating Sonia Sotomayor, the president cited both her judicial experience and her compelling personal story.

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President Obama made history Tuesday by nominating the first Hispanic to the US Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, a judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

If confirmed by the Senate, Judge Sotomayor would replace retiring Justice David Souter, and become the second woman to serve currently on the high court and only the third in history. Born and raised in a South Bronx housing project, she would be the first person of Puerto Rican heritage to serve on the high court.

In nominating Sotomayor, Mr. Obama cited her professional achievements and compelling personal story, calling her an "inspiring woman who I am confident will make a great justice."

"It doesn't matter where you come from, what you look like, or what challenges life throws your way. No dream is beyond reach in the United States of America," Obama said.

In a statement in the East Room ceremony announcing her nomination, Sotomayor said, "Never in my wildest childhood imaginings … did I ever dream that I would live this moment."

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