Michelle Obama used a public speaking engagement at a high school graduation as an opportunity to support Judge Sonia Sotomayor, her hubby's pick to replace Justice David Souter—who recently announced that he'd be stepping down from his position on the Supreme Court.
Speaking at Howard University, the first lady said that Sotomayor, who grew up in a Bronx housing project and went on to study at Princeton and Yale Universities, "still looks over her shoulder and wonders if she measures up." But she also told the students that Sotomayor was
"more than ready" to be a justice and drew comparison's between the judge's humble beginnings and high achievement to the life stories and paths followed by both herself and President Barack Obama.
The White House smartly disapatched the first lady to counter Newt Gingrich's recent claims that Sonia Sotomayor was a racist due to an essay the judge wrote back in 2001 which stated, "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." Since making the initial accusation, Gingrich has backpedaled, admitting that he shouldn't have called
Sotomayor a racist, that the word had been "perhaps too strong
and direct", and even conceding that the judges rulings have "shown more caution and moderation" than her speeches and writing.
If confirmed, Sotomayor, 54, would be the first Latino and only the third woman and one of the youngest justices to serve on the highest court in the United States.