Federal appeals court Judge Sonia Sotomayor is about to become a justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Political realities make that clear. Her record indicates that it is unlikely that an overlooked embarrassment from her past will surface to derail her ascension to the high court.
When President Barack Obama this week announced his intention to nominate Sotomayor for the court, he stressed that he wants someone who will interpret the Constitution, not attempt as an activist judge to amend it. Sotomayor herself has insisted that "I don't believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says."
If that is her philosophy, we applaud her. The Supreme Court's function is to ensure that statutes are constitutional - not to usurp the responsibility of Congress to enact laws.
Critics have pointed to some comments made by Sotomayor, such as one in which she remarked that appeals courts make policy. Her background while on the appeals court labels her as an activist judge, say her detractors.
We hope the critics are wrong. History has shown that predictions of how high court justices will behave once on the bench sometimes have been in error. Americans soon will find out where predictions about Sotomayor are correct. We hope fervently that she believes what she said about the Constitution.