Sotomayor, 54, is a graduate of Princeton University and Yale Law School and a former prosecutor and private attorney, who became a federal judge for the Southern District of New York in 1992. As a judge, she has bipartisan credentials. She was first appointed by a Republican, President George H.W. Bush, then named an appeals judge by President Bill Clinton in 1997.
But beyond her legal resume, Mr. Obama stressed she will bring to the court "the wisdom accumulated from an inspiring life's journey."
The nomination also sets the stage for President Obama's first big judicial confirmation test in Congress.
So what do we know about Sotomayor's judicial record and what might she bring to the dynamics of the Supreme Court if she wins confirmation?
Here to answer viewer questions is Marica Coyle of the National Law Journal and a regular NewsHour Supreme Court analyst. She's been covering the high court since 1987.
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