Judge Sonia Sotomayor's words, and actions have been followed more closely than ever before this week during the confirmation hearings that will lead to her possibly filling a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. While being under the watchful eye of legislators, and the media, its seems as if the people of Edgecombe County have either overlooked or paid little attention to the fact that a decision will soon be made that will determine if Sotomayor will become the first Hispanic, and the third woman on the Supreme Court. I think that calls for at least a few minutes of thought to form an opinion one way or the other, but as I talked with different people this week they barely recognized her name. Not until I pointed out that she's the "Hispanic women" that President Obama recommended to join the other judges on the Supreme Court to make some of the most crucial legal decisions for the nation did the big sigh of assurance come that they've heard a little about her.
I talked with a close friend about the nomination of Sotomayor, and he shared with me that he thought Obama was making another calculated move to bring more diversity to the country. While he didn't have a firm opinion about her, he expressed that he felt she was probably the most qualified among the Hispanic community to take on the position.
Most of the other people I sparked a conversation with about the nonimation found it as new news. Some women shared that they were happy that she could represent women, but had no clue about her background or previous rulings she made in lower courts.
I rejoiced when I found out that another woman could join the Supreme Court. I rejoiced even more in my role as an education reporter took me into a English as a Second Language classroom a few days after the announcement of her nomination. The ESL teacher shared with me the new hope that her students felt as the realized the significance of the first Hispanic person, male or female being nominated. That's what our great country is about, providing opportunities to everyone that works hard, and when individuals are presented with these great opportunities and represent what determination and perservance can do, not only myself but whole races and cultures rejoice. I'm watching, even if no one else is.