Local Judge's story similar to nominees

May 26, 2009 10:24:46 PM PDT
If President Obama gets his way, the newest member of the Supreme Court will be Sonia Sotomayor. As Judge Sotomayor stands to make history, possibly becoming the first Hispanic on the United States Supreme Court here in Houston, the historic moment is felt by someone uniquely familiar with her story.

One judge here in Houston knows a thing or two about being the first Latina to be appointed to a bench. The Honorable Eva Guzman, an Associate Justice with the 14th Court of Appeals, has a similar story to the Supreme Court nominee. For the past eight years, Justice Guzman has served here. Her story, like Sotomayor's, is one of inspiration against the odds.

"My mother had a third grade education, spent much of her life cleaning, working as a cleaning woman," Justice Guzman said.

The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Justice Guzman knows a thing or two about being first. In 2001, she became the first Latina appointed to the 14th Court of Appeals, only the second Hispanic ever to serve on that bench. And like Sotomayor her story began from humble beginnings.

"Growing up one of seven with parents who'd only gone to the third grade who, were like Judge Sotomayor's parents, hardworking people who understood the value of education," Jutice Guzman said.

And it's that legacy she now hopes to instill in her own daughter something she says today's nomination only reinforces.

"I stand on the shoulders of many people," Judge Sotomayor said.

Showing that even with huge challenges anything is possible.

"I hope that it is to inspire, to inspire young woman and young men to fulfill their greatest potential and to imagine what was once unimaginable for us," Justice Guzman said.

Justice Guzman says no matter your politics, Tuesday's nomination should be considered important step for the Hispanic community.

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