Latina Justice Historical Appointment Sonia Sotomayor

Posted on September 15, 2009

The Institute for the Study of Societal Change’s (ISSI)
Center for Latino Policy Research
& The Berkeley Latino Policy Forum


Latina Justice:
The Historical Appointment of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor


María Blanco
Executive Director
Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute
UC Berkeley, Law School


Melissa E. Murray
Assistant Professor of Law
UC Berkeley, Law School

Date and Time:
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
12:00 P.M. – 1:30 P.M.

Shorb House
2547 Channing Way (Corner with Bowditch St.)
Berkeley, CA

Abstract: The appointment of Sonia Maria Sotomayor as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States is historic. Serving since August 2009, Sotomayor is the Court’s 111th justice, its first Latina justice, and its third female justice.
The speakers will give insight about the debates that emerged with her nomination, her relation with the Obama Administration, the significance of her appointment and the challenges and opportunities that she now faces.

About the Speakers:
Maria Blanco serves as the Executive Director for the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute. She served as executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area. She brings more than 20 years of experience as a litigator and advocate for immigrant rights, women’s rights and racial justice. As executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee, Blanco launched initiatives to increase minority access to higher education, provide legal counsel for students in substandard schools, and convene African-American and Latino community leaders to discuss the impact of immigration reform. She regularly contributes to national and local media on school integration, the importance of an independent judiciary, and civil rights challenges in today’s security climate. Blanco is also the co-chair of the California Coalition for Civil Rights, a group dedicated to building a progressive national agenda for civil and human rights.

Blanco has successfully litigated pivotal civil rights cases, such as Davis v. San Francisco, which brought women for the first time into the San Francisco Fire Department; and Castrejon v. Tortilleria La Mejor, which established that undocumented workers are covered by federal anti-discrimination laws.

Melissa Murray is Assistant Professor UC Berkeley, Law School. She teaches family law and criminal law. Her research focuses on the roles that criminal law and family law play in articulating the legal parameters of intimate life. Prior to coming to Boalt, Murray served for two years as an associate in law at Columbia Law School.

Following law school, Murray clerked for Sonia Sotomayor of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and Stefan Underhill of the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut.

Her recent publications include, “The Networked Family: Reframing the Legal Understanding of Caregiving and Caregivers” in the Virginia Law Review (2008), “Equal Rites and Equal Rights” in the California Law Review (2008), “Strange Bedfellows: Criminal Law, Family Law, and the Legal Regulation of Intimate Life” in the Iowa Law Review (2009), “Disestablishing the Family” in the Yale Law Journal (with A. Ristroph)
(forthcoming), and “Marriage Rights and Parental Rights: Parents, the State and Proposition 8” in the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (forthcoming).

*Please forward this email to anyone who might be interested. This seminar
is free and open to the public.

*For more information contact the Center for Latino Policy Research (CLPR)
at (510) 642-6903. For directions to CLPR, see:

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Center for Latino Policy Research
University of California at Berkeley
2547 Channing Way
Berkeley, CA 94720

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