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President Obama on Tuesday nominated federal Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Judge Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday calls her nomination to the high court “the most humbling honor of my life.”
Sotomayor, 54, would be the first Hispanic and third female U.S. Supreme Court justice if confirmed.
Obama announced the nomination Tuesday morning in the East Room of the White House.
She “has worked at almost every level of our judicial system, providing her with a depth of experience and a breath of perspective that will be invaluable as a Supreme Court justice,” he added.
Obama said Sotomayor ” would bring more experience on the bench and more varied experience on the bench than anyone currently serving on the United States Supreme Court had when they were appointed.”
Sotomayor, a judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, was named a U.S. District Court judge by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, and was elevated to her current seat by President Clinton.
Sotomayor, who is of Puerto Rican descent, rose from humble beginnings at a housing project in the South Bronx and went on to attend Princeton University and Yale Law School.
Supporters say her appointment history, along with what they call her moderate-liberal views, would give her some bipartisan backing in the Senate.
A senior White House official said that Sotomayor was “nominated by George Bush — then Bill Clinton — [and has] more judicial experience than anyone sitting on the court had at the time they were nominated.”
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, issued a statement calling Sotomayor’s record “exemplary.”
“Judge Sotomayor has a long and distinguished career on the federal bench,” Leahy said. “I believe [she] understands that the courthouse doors must be as open to ordinary Americans as they are to government and big corporations.”
Obama’s nominee will replace retiring Justice David Souter, who announced this month he would step down when the court’s current session ends this summer.
There had been wide speculation that Obama would name a woman to the court, which has one female justice, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Obama’s nomination will have to be confirmed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and the full Senate. The nominee is not expected to have difficulty being confirmed in the Democratic-controlled Senate in time for the new court session in October.
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‘If you live in America, you need to speak English.’ According to a Los Angeles Times Poll (1998), that was how three out of four voters explained their support for Proposition 227, the ballot initiative that dismantled most bilingual education programs in California.
Non- English speakers are at a disadvantage; thus schools must not fail to teach English to children from minority language backgrounds. Students’ life chances will depend to a large extent on the level of English literacy skills they achieve.
As the linguist Einar Haugen (1972) once observed, ‘America’s profusion of tongues has made her a modern Babel, but a Babel in reverse.’ By their third generation in the United States, newcomers have typically adopted English as their usual language and abandoned their mother tongue.
There is no reason to think the historic pattern has changed. Although
the number of minority language speakers has grown dramatically in
recent years, so too has their rate of acculturation. Census figures confirm the paradox. While a language other than English is now spoken at home by
nearly one in five US residents, bilingualism is also on the rise. A century
ago, the proportion of non-English speakers was 4.5 times as large as it is
today, and in certain states the disparity was considerably larger. As the US population becomes increasingly diverse, linguistic assimilation
seems to be progressing rapidly by historical standards. The political problem is that the average American has trouble believing all this. To see chart comparing non- English speakers in 1890 and 1990 click here.
An English-only movement based on these premises came to prominence
in the 1980s. Thus far it has succeeded in legislating English as the
official language of 25 states, although such declarations have been
primarily symbolic, with few legal effects thus far.
To counter the English-only mentality, advocates have coined the slogan English Plus. They argue that the United States remains an underdeveloped country where language skills are concerned. In a global economy, more multilingualism – not less – would clearly advance the national interest.
Some English-speaking parents have been receptive to the ‘bilingual is
beautiful’ pitch. Over the past decade, growing numbers have enrolled
their children in ‘dual immersion’ classrooms alongside minority children
learning English. Yet, despite excellent reports on this method of cultivating
fluency in two languages, probably no more than 20,000 English background
students are participating nationwide. Compare that with the324,000 Canadian Anglophones enrolled in French immersion programs, in a country with one-tenth the population of the USA (Statistics Canada, 2003).
Author: James Crawford
Source: Language Policy Website
On Memorial Day, we commemorate the service of those who have served on behalf of our country and have given the ultimate sacrifice. We should honor and remember these brave men and women, not just by honoring their sacrifice, but by recognizing who they were. This Memorial Day, we should take a moment to remember all those who served and gave their lives since the founding of this great nation, including our Latino servicemen and women.
• American Revolution: During the American Revolution, soldiers from Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republic fought along side of the colonists for independence. There were many acts of courage and sacrifice by Latinos during the war, with Bernardo de Galvez leading a diverse Army and contributing to General George Washington’s success at Yorktown.
• World War II: Half a million Latinos served in the Armed Forces during WWII, and more than 9,000 Latinos gave their lives in defense of our country. Eleven Latinos received the Congressional Medal of Honor, including Marine PFC Guy “Gabby” Gabaldon who single-handedly captured over 1,000 enemy soldiers in the summer of 1944, more than anyone else has in the history of military conflicts.
• Korean War: Just over 300 Latinos gave their lives during the Korean War, with eight Latinos awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their bravery. The 65th Infantry Regiment – a Puerto Rican regiment – participated in nine major campaigns, captured 2,086 enemy soldiers, and killed 5,095. Individual members of this regiment were awarded four Distinguished Service Crosses and 124 Silver Stars.
• Vietnam War: In Vietnam, 80,000 Latinos served with distinction, with one out of every three Latinos wounded and one out of every five Latinos killed in action. In addition, fourteen Latinos were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their bravery. Navy Lt. Everett Alvarez became the first American prisoner of war, and remained so for over eight years, the longest confirmed POW in American history. The last American to leave Vietnam was Msgt. Juan J. Valdez, who served at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon and departed by helicopter on April 30, 1975.
• Iraq and Afghanistan: As of July 31, 2006, there were 24,188 Latino officers and enlisted soldiers deployed, with more than 360 Latinos sacrificing their lives for this country in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, the first combat casualty of the Iraq war was a Latino – Marine Lance Corporal Jose Antonio Gutierrez, who died on March 21, 2003.
Latinos have and continue to serve and sacrifice to protect the American way of life for all. In fact, Latinos have received more Purple Heart medals than any other ethnic group.
Source: The website of Senator Robert Menendez
The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center announced in March 2009 that the public can now access the Arhoolie Foundation’s Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Recordings (http://frontera.library.ucla.edu) — the largest online digital archive of its kind. The archive is financed in part by a $500,000 donation by Los Tigres del Norte Foundation.
Los Tigres del Norte bandleader Jorge Hernández said, “Los Tigres del Norte is very proud to have been a part of the preservation of so many historic recordings from our musical forebears.
“This collection will provide the next generation of Mexican and Mexican American music artists with previously unimaginable access to our rich cultural history, and in doing so, will help them expand the appreciation of Spanish-language music even further in the future.”
The archive includes more than 41,000 recordings and is a treasure trove of historical Spanish-language songs dating from the early 1900s to the 1950s.
Los Tigres Del Norte are the undisputed legends or “Los Jefe’s de Jefes” of Norteno music. Billboard magazine declared the family of musicians as the world’s “most influential regional Mexican group… Los Tigres Del Norte are not just a popular musical act …. Instead, they’re widely viewed as the voice of the people.” Los Tigres Del Norte have been singing border stories for more than [four] decades”. In fact, the year 2008 marked the 40th anniversary of Los Tigres Del Norte. In this time, Los Tigres have recorded more than 500 songs over the course of nearly 60 albums, have sold over 35 million albums around the world, received countless Platinum records and numerous awards—including multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy awards and the Latin Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Beyond the album and concert sales though, what truly makes the legendary Los Tigres Del Norte the most significant Regional Mexican group in the world, is their unquestioned role as the leading voice of the immigrant community. According to The Los Angeles Times, “Los Tigres is the most enduring binational band today because it hears the humble… Los Tigres [are] the most perceptive chroniclers of the Mexican American experience. In song, they reflect its most personal feelings, and [take] the side of these millions of immigrants who are voiceless on both sides of the border.