Well, Sonia, what you’ve shown in your life is that 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.
And when Sonia Sotomayor ascends those marble steps to assume her seat on the highest court of the land, America will have taken another important step towards realizing the ideal that is etched above its entrance: Equal justice under the law.
I hope the Senate acts in a bipartisan fashion, as it has in confirming Judge Sotomayor twice before, and as swiftly as possible so that she can take her seat on the Court in September and participate in deliberations as the Court chooses which cases it will hear this coming year.
And with that, I’d like all of you to give a warm greeting as I invite Judge Sotomayor to say a few words. (Applause.)
JUDGE SOTOMAYOR: I was just counseled not to be nervous. (Laughter.) That’s almost impossible. (Laughter.)
Thank you, Mr. President, for the most humbling honor of my life. You have nominated me to serve on the country’s highest court, and I am deeply moved.
I could not, in the few minutes I have today, mention the names of the many friends and family who have guided and supported me throughout my life and who have been instrumental in helping me realize my dreams. I see many of those faces in this room. Each of you, whom I love deeply, will know that my heart today is bursting with gratitude for all you have done for me.
The President has said to you that I bring my family. In the audience is my brother, Juan Sotomayor — he’s a physician in Syracuse, New York; my sister-in-law, Tracey; my niece, Kylie — she looks like me — (laughter) — my twin nephews, Conner and Corey. I stand on the shoulders of countless people, yet there is one extraordinary person who is my life aspiration — that person is my mother, Celina Sotomayor. (Applause.)
My mother has devoted her life to my brother and me, and as the President mentioned, she worked often two jobs to help support us after Dad died. I have often said that I am all I am because of her, and I am only half the woman she is.
Sitting next to her is Omar Lopez, my mom’s husband and a man whom I have grown to adore. I thank you for all that you have given me and continue to give me. I love you. (Applause.)