PRLDEF Launches Action Website to Combat Attacks Against Judge Sonia Sotomayor

June 6, 2008
Contact: John Garcia, Director of Communications (212) 739-7513

LatinoJustice PRLDEF has launched today a rapid response website designed to combat attacks against Judge Sonia Sotomayor as she goes through her confirmation process to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The website, Justice for Justice Sotomayor, will address any misconceptions or attacks presented by right wing groups and offer a vehicle to write senators on her behalf. Supporters can also receive rapid response updates on issues relating to the confirmation process. Judge Sotomayor served as a board member of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, formerly known as the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, for 12 years.

“We want people to become active in this confirmation and get involved in this historic senate hearing,” said Cesar Perales, president and General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF. “We want our Truth Squad to battle those who seek to tarnish her excellent reputation with lies or misinformation. Our community will not sit by while attacks against this respected jurist take place.”

Last month, President Barak Obama nominated Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace U.S, Supreme Court Justice David Souter on the court. When confirmed, she will become the first Latina on the U.S. Supreme Court. Sotomayor would bring more federal judicial experience to the Supreme Court than any justice in 100 years, and more overall judicial experience than anyone confirmed for the Court in the past 70 years.

After 12 years on the board of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, Judge Sotomayor began her judicial service in October 1992 with her appointment to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York by President George H.W. Bush. Still in her 30s, she was the youngest member of the court. From 1992 to 1998, she presided over roughly 450 cases. As a trial judge, she earned a reputation as a sharp and fearless jurist who does not let powerful interests bully her into departing from the rule of law. For example, in 1995 she issued an injunction against Major League Baseball owners, effectively ending a baseball strike that had become the longest work stoppage in professional sports history and had caused the cancellation of the World Series the previous fall.

President Clinton appointed Judge Sotomayor to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1998.

Judge Sotomayor’s nomination comes at a time when the Hispanic community is at the heart of a number of highly politicized issues and attacks on our civil liberties. LatinoJustice PRLDEF recently fought battles against anti-immigration ordinances, a rash of hate crimes against Latinos and attempts to police the use of Spanish.

The website is co-sponsored by the Hispanic Federation, a network of over 90 member community agencies in the Tristate area.

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