Judge Sonia Sotomayor has been nominated to fill the vacancy being created by Justice David Souter's retirement.
Sotomayor is currently serving on the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals. She was nominated to that position by President Clinton after having served in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. She was nominated to her District Court position by President George H.W. Bush.
Although generally considered a judicial centrist, she is on record making comments about the policy making role of the court. Her confirmation to the Court of Appeals was delayed for over a year, an anonymous senator having placed a "secret hold" on her nomination.
Being of Puerto Rican ancestry, if confirmed to the Supreme Court, Sotomayor would become the Court's first Hispanic Justice.
The examination of the arguments made in favor or in opposition to her confirmation, not merely for their content but for the level of divisiveness they may or may not engender, will be as important as examining her judicial background.