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President Obama has nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the US Supreme Court, a Hispanic woman with 17 years of experience on the federal bench. Supporters emphasize her legal credentials and her common touch.  Opponents call her "an activist judge."  We hear both sides.  Also, North Korea has followed up on yesterday's nuclear test by firing two short-range missiles today. We hear about reaction at the United Nations and get some assessment of what North Korea's leaders might be thinking. On Reporter's Notebook, California's State Supreme Court has upheld a ban on gay marriage. At the same time, it's upheld gay and lesbian marriages performed before Proposition 8 was passed by the voters.

Banner image: Nominee for Supreme Court Justice, Appeals Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor, thanks US President Barack Obama (R) at the end of her address in the East Room of the White House. Photo: Tim Sloan/AFP/Getty Images


Mike Chinoy

Making News Barack Obama and the Highest Court in the Land 23 MIN, 12 SEC

President Obama this morning nominated Sonia Sotomayor to replace David Souter on the US Supreme Court. The daughter of Puerto Rican parents with a total of 17 years' experience on the federal bench was nominated to the US District Court by President George H.W. Bush, and promoted to the Federal Court of Appeals by Bill Clinton. Speaking of Sotomayor, the President observed that "she 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."

Joan Biskupic, Reuters (@JoanBiskupic)
Ed Whelan, Ethics and Public Policy Center (@EdWhelanEPPC)

Main Topic North Korean Missile Test 19 MIN, 51 SEC

Yesterday's nuclear test by North Korea got an angry response from the United Nations Security Council, even including China and Russia. After today's test of two short-range missiles, the US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, called North Korea's actions "provocative and destabilizing" and "a threat to international peace and security," and said the Security Council would pursue "a new resolution, a strong resolution with teeth."

Colum Lynch, Foreign Policy Magazine (@columlynch)
Geoffrey Forden, former Weapons Inspector, United Nations
Mike Chinoy, USC US-China Institute (@mikechinoy)

Reporter's Notebook California Supreme Court Rules on Proposition 8 7 MIN, 26 SEC

In May of last year, the California State Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage.  In November, the state's voters banned the practice by passing Proposition 8. In the meantime, 18,000 gays and lesbians were married. Today, the Court issued two controversial decisions. While it upheld the ban, it also upheld the same-sex marriages that took place between the Court's previous ruling and the passage of Prop 8. Maura Dolan covers the courts for the Los Angeles Times.

Maura Dolan, Los Angeles Times (@mauradolan)

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