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Sotomayor on island

by Nick Delgado

Guam - "I'm delighted to be here and I'm looking forward to seeing the sunrise in America, Where America's Day Begins!" Those were the first words U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor said publicly as she stepped off the plane at the A.B. Won Pat International Airport Wednesday evening. She says the territory reminds her of Puerto Rico.  

She's arrived to attend today's Federal District Conference at the Hilton. In a press conference she sat between District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco Gatewood and Supreme Court Chief Justice F. Phillip Carbullido. While on island she says she will be visiting a few non-profit organizations, military installations, and GMH.

"I would like when I leave to some away with a sense of what your life issues are, what the island is like to understand better the place that I have visited," she said.

She then swore in six attorneys to practice law in Guam, and two to practice law in the District Court of Guam. Christine Marie Santos was among the group and said, "It's a great honor and really exciting when we first found out she was going to come swear us in and to actually be admitted to practice law on Guam it's a great feat and we are all very excited."

During the closed-door conference that did not include the media, Sotomayor spoke to the criminal justice community. U.S. Attorney Alicia Limtiaco explained the discussion, saying the group learned, "About issues that impact the Supreme Court of the U.S., listening to the personal side of how the justices work together, learning about their collegiality and also learning about how attorneys can improve our skills in appellate work."

Justice Sotomayor will also be speaking before hundreds of University of Guam, Guam Community College and public school students tomorrow at the UOG Field House. "If in that group someday there is a young child who aspires to become a federal judge or Supreme Court justice because of that meeting, that would be OK, but it's not what necessary but if I can inspire to think bigger than the world we live in then that would be enough," she said.

Sotomayor will be heading to the CNMI this weekend. 

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