Newswise — UC Berkeley School of Law scholars expect rigorous U.S. Senate confirmation hearings on Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. The nomination has stirred debate about judicial activism, among other issues, due partly to comments Sotomayor made during a 2001 Berkeley Law speech.
Berkeley Law scholars available for interviews about Sotomayor's nomination and the U.S. Senate hearings include:
Melissa Murray: Berkeley Law assistant professor who clerked for Judge Sonia Sotomayor after graduating from Yale Law School in 2002. Murray is a scholar of family law and criminal law. She is a signatory to a letter signed by more than 1,200 law professors from 170 law schools nationwide, which was delivered on July 8 to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Sotomayor. The letter describes Judge Sotomayor as a "brilliant, careful, fair-minded jurist whose rulings exhibit unfailing adherence to the rule of law," and notes the strong bipartisan support she's received during her previous nominations.
Rachel Moran, Berkeley Law professor and former chair of UC Berkeley's Chicano/Latino Policy Project and former director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change. Moran, who attended Yale Law School with Sotomayor, believes the Judge will be a "formidable presence on the Court." Moran was in the audience during Sotomayor's 2001 Berkeley Law speech, which she describes as "polished and elegant," and "warmly received." Moran is also a signatory to the letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Sotomayor.
Maria Blanco: Civil rights lawyer who has advised previous administrations on Supreme Court nomination issues. Blanco was active with Latinos for Obama and a Transition Team advisor; she led the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights in San Francisco and was formerly a national senior counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Today, she is the executive director of the Berkeley Law's Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity & Diversity.
About University of California, Berkeley, School of Law
For over a century, Berkeley Law has prepared lawyers to be skilled and ethical problem-solvers. The law school's curriculum—one of the most comprehensive and innovative in the nation—offers its J.D. and advanced degree candidates a broad array of nearly 200 courses. Students collaborate with leading scholars and practitioners working on complex issues at more than a dozen interdisciplinary centers, institutes, and clinical programs within its Boalt Hall complex. For more information, visit http://www.law.berkeley.edu/.
For Berkeley Law scholars' bios and photos, go to:
Read Law Professors Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee: