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State Latinos Applaud Supreme Court Nominee
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Many Latinos in the state are applauding President Obama’s nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.  

Before he was president of the Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, Juan Figueroa led the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund in New York City.  There he says he met Judge Sotomayor.  He describes her as a well-qualified judge whose life story adds an important dimension to the Supreme Court. "Here was have a jurist who comes from very humble beginnings. The daughter of Puerto Rican parents who migrated from Puerto Rico to New York …with a dad who as I understand it had only a 3rdgrade education"

Figueroa says she represents the Hispanic community – a group that’s been missing for too long from nation’s most prestigious bench. "This appointment is of huge significance in relation to having a Supreme Court that reflects the reality of the demographics and the fact that we are a country of.of hardworking immigrants that come here to get ahead…to forge an education for their kids and contribute to this country in so many ways." 

Judge Sotomayor has several connections with Connecticut.  She attended Yale Law School where she was editor of the law review.  And one of her most high-profile decisions involves white firefighters from New Haven who were denied promotions because too few black firefighters scored high enough on an exam. New Haven threw out the results of the test and no one was promoted. The white firefighters sued.  Sotomayor was one of three judges on a panel at the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals in NY that upheld New Haven’s decision to scrap the test.  That case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.