The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mai Shiozaki, 202-628-8669, ext. 116; cell 202-641-1906

NOW Celebrates Landmark Confirmation of Sonia Sotomayor to Supreme Court

Statement of NOW President Terry O'Neill


History was made today when the Senate confirmed Judge Sonia
Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court. The National Organization for
Women proudly celebrates Sotomayor's landmark achievement as the first
Hispanic justice to sit on the high court and just the third woman

Judge Sotomayor will bring more federal judicial experience to the
court than any justice in 100 years, and more overall judicial
experience than anyone confirmed in the past 70 years. In addition to
her exemplary qualifications, Sotomayor will bring an important
viewpoint to the bench. Though it was a difficult concept for some
senators to grasp, Sotomayor's experience as a member of two groups who
often experience discrimination in this country can only help to
broaden the court's perspective on inequity and help advance the cause
of equality and justice for all.

Women have every reason to be outraged about gender disparity on the
Supreme Court. When Sotomayor joins Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the
court this fall, women will occupy a whopping 22 percent of the bench. Sixteen years passed between the confirmations of Ginsburg and Sotomayor, and three
men were elevated to the high court during that time. At that
unacceptable rate, it could take decades, maybe even centuries, to
achieve a gender balanced court. There's no excuse to wait for
equality: NOW calls for every open seat on the Supreme Court to be
filled by a woman until there are four, if not five women justices.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.