06/27/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Against All Odds: What the World Will See in Sotomayor

Call it political, call it anything. President Barack Obama has once again challenged the leadership of all civilized nations by choosing Sonya Sotomayor to the highest court in America.

Her incredible life story rings so true and familiar to so many women in this country and in the world. Being a daughter of a single mother, Judge Sotomayor could have easily chosen the safe path to go into teaching jobs, banking industry, professional career.

But she jumped into public service and law, a field that even with Affirmative Action you would not get many minority women excited about. A minefield indeed. A place you can get lost or get entangled into gender and identity politics. But Sotomayor not only chose to be a lawyer, she also chose to face the issues that are not-so-nice to her ethnic and racial background.

The President is aware of the fact that without such a choice, it may not be possible to push for an comprehensive immigration reform. Judge Mayor symbolizes everything this country wants to see in the child of an immigrant American, someone who defies all odds, someone who is the icon of law and order, a woman who eloquently writes and reads the language of this land.

So here is a toast to the little immigrant ladies who push strollers on our streets, who silently come to clean our apartments, and without a word of English somehow we manage to understand each other. They had quite a lot to smile about this morning. After all the work they do, at the end of the day, they have a model for their sons and daughters. No glamour, pure guts and hard work.

And here is a challenge to decision makers in Europe and Central America: Let's see if Chancellor Merkel can appoint a Turk to a High Court or even a Ministerial post. Let's see if Prime Minister Erdogan can appoint a secular, Alawite, Kurdish woman to a high office. Let's see if President Sarkozy after all the scandal he dumped on her, can truly stand behind Rachida Dati as a symbol law and justice in Europe. Let's hope they have the guts and courage.

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