Sotomayor Gets White House Welcome

President and first lady host reception for newest Supreme Court justice

The Supreme Court's latest addition hobnobbed with Washington big shots Wednesday, including the man who picked her for the job, and praised the founding fathers for their foresight..

Sonia Sotomayor was the star of a White House reception hosted by President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama. Sotomayor, who was sworn in over the weekend, became the first Hispanic and just the third woman to sit on the nation's high court. She was a federal judge for 17 years before Obama nominated her in May to replace retiring Justice David Souter.

Sotomayor praised the founding fathers for crafting an enduring Constitution "that allows a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx to stand here now."

Obama said Sotomayor's appointment says much about how far America has come.

"We're here to celebrate an extraordinary moment for our nation," Obama said.

Later Wednesday, Obama will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, to 16 people, including actor Sidney Poitier, Sen. Ted Kennedy, retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Bishop Desmond Tutu.

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