The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court was received positively Tuesday by Hispanics in La Plata County.
"It certainly brings a new perspective to the court," said Leonard Atencio, emeritus professor at Fort Lewis College. "Another woman on the court is positive."
A Hispanic also will add a new dimension, Atencio said.
Sotomayor, 54, a judge on the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, has been nominated by President Obama to replace David Souter, who is retiring. Sotomayor was elevated to the U.S. District Court by President George H.W. Bush in 1992 and was named to her present seat by President Clinton.
Jerry Martinez, owner of CJ's Diner, said he doesn't know a lot about Sotomayor.
"I'm a conservative, so I'm against abortion," Martinez said. "It's obvious with all that's going on (right-to-life versus women's rights) that I'm going to be nervous about what could happen."
Martinez said he plans to read up on Sotomayor's record.
Victoria Romero Coe, a community activist, was ecstatic.
"I'm thrilled, I'm beside myself," Romero Coe said.
Romero Coe said the fact Sotomayor received appointments by the first President Bush, a Republican, and Bill Clinton, a Democrat, must be indicative of her qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court.
Shirena Trujillo, coordinator of the El Centro de Muchos Colores, the Hispanic Resource Center at Fort Lewis College, said the time is long past to have a Hispanic on the High Court.
"It's wonderful. It's about time," Trujillo said. "The fastest-growing minority community finally appears to have a representative on the court."
Several people who dropped by her office Tuesday commented favorably about the nomination, Trujillo said.
Durango attorney Alex Tejada echoed Trujillo's reaction.
"It's great that a Hispanic has been nominated to the Supreme Court, something that should have happened a long time ago," Tejada said. "It's a pleasure."
If the process proceeds as it should, Sotomayor will be confirmed quickly, Tejada said.