Celebration marks confirmation of 1st Latino Supreme Court justice

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While the U.S. Senate voted on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, a group of lawyers, and lawyers-to-be, watched on TV in downtown L.A. KPCC’s Shirley Jahad was at the event at the offices of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund.

Shirley Jahad: The crowd at MALDEF headquarters cheered when the historic vote was announced.

[sounds of cheering]

Jahad: It was an emotional moment for some.

Judy Perez: Just kind of holding back tears its just so exciting.

Jihad: Judy Perez is president of the Latina Lawyers Bar Association.

Perez: Whether you want to be a lawyer or not, whether you want to be a judge or not, this country really is amazing. Our history, we’ve had some ups and downs. But if you apply yourself, you really can achieve whatever you want. Immigrants tend to know that already. But when they see Sotomayor on a Supreme Court bench, it’s further proof.

Julia Vazquez: My name’s Julia Vazquez. I’m a third year law student at UCLA. Law school’s a tough place. And as a Latina and a person from a working class background, it tells me that I can go far. It’s something that is absolutely inspirational. This is a day that I’m going to remember for a long time and I’m going to be telling my children about.

Jahad: Justice Sotomayor will be sworn in Saturday.