This top court justice wanted to be Nancy Drew

As part of Hispanic Heritage Month, CNN Politics looks at some of the most influential Hispanics in US political history

By Brenna Williams

Published September 28, 2020

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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor really wanted to be just like the character Nancy Drew.

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She didn't become a teen detective. Instead, she made history.

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I noticed that [fictional defense attorney] Perry Mason was involved in a lot of the same kinds of investigative work that I had been fascinated with reading Nancy Drew, so I decided to become a lawyer ... Once I focused on becoming a lawyer, I never deviated from that goal."

Sonia Sotomayor

US Supreme Court Associate Justice

Born in 1954 in New York to Puerto Rican parents, Sotomayor grew up in a Bronx housing project. She went to Princeton and then law school at Yale.

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She was the first Hispanic on the federal bench in New York. President George H.W. Bush nominated her to be an associate US District Court judge.

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President Bill Clinton nominated her to the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals. She ran up against Congressional GOPers for the first time. Her nomination was delayed a year.

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The major conservative argument against Sotomayor goes back to an idea she used in speeches stretching back to 1994.

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"I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life"

Sonia Sotomayor

US Supreme Court Associate Justice

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Critics called Sotomayor "a reverse racist."

In 2009, Sotomayor's trailblazing continued when President Barack Obama nominated her to replace Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court. She's the first Hispanic Justice.

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During the nomination, Obama referred to Sotomayor as the person who "saved baseball," a reference to her 1995 ruling that halted a Major League Baseball strike.

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Senators confirmed her to the Supreme Court 68 to 31.

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She was sworn in as the first Hispanic justice and 111th justice overall in August 2009. She still sits on the bench.

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