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sonia sotamayor nomination

This clip is from the Associated Press coverage of the appointment of Justice Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States in 2009. She was the Court’s first Hispanic justice and its third female justice. In one of the opening images, Justice Sotomayor is seen standing alongside President Obama and Vice President Biden at a podium, a moment that the narrator describes as “a picture of diversity.” Sotomayor describes herself as “an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.” The AP portrays reactions to the appointment as a mix of praise from “Hispanic groups” and criticism from “conservative groups.” The role of Sotomayor’s life experiences in her professional judgement is also evident in an excerpt of the president’s remarks in which he refers to “the wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life’s journey.” Emphasizing the theme of ideological differences in the Supreme Court, reporter Julie Pace concludes the AP report by stating that “many on the left” hope Sotomayor will be a “counterpoint to the Court’s conservatives.”


What is the Associated Press? How is the Associated Press different from other news organizations? Does the AP represent a particular liberal or conservative point of view?

Who was given an opportunity to comment on Sotomayor’s appointment? How were they dressed? Where do they appear to be interviewed? How does this shape the audience’s perception? Who else might have been interviewed? How would the coverage have been different with these interviewees?

What aspects of Sotomayor’s life and career were included in the coverage? What aspects were left out? Why?

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