Ruben Diaz Sr. on the Significance of Sotomayor

ALBANY—I just called State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. to ask for his thoughts on the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"For Hispanics and for all Puerto Ricans, it's an achievement that is long overdue," Diaz said. "The Democratic Party has taken us for granted for so long, and we feel we have been there for the Democratic Party always."

He said Sotomayor, currently a judge on Second Circuit Court of Appeals, was "very qualified" but said that "for Christians, it will be bad."

"She's a very liberal person, and she will support a liberal agenda," he said. "But for the Democratic Party and Obama, he hit a home run. She's Hispanic, a woman, a very qualified woman, and a deliverer."

(Diaz Sr., an ordained minister, is a socially conservative.)

"We are behind," Diaz said of Hispanic judicial appointees, an issue he raised recently when Judith Kaye had to be replaced. "This does not mean that everything is good and dandy."

"The governor and the state Democratic Party should take a page from Obama. They should listen, look, and learn from Obama," he said. "It would be a very negative reaction. Just because President Obama has supported a Hispanic to the Supreme Court, which was long overdue, does not mean that we will be satisfied."

David Paterson and other statewide officials put out statements praising Sotomayor's nomination, and Paterson has called a press conference for later this afternoon relating to her nomination.

Ruben Diaz Sr. on the Significance of Sotomayor