(Orlando, FL) - U.S. Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) today issued a statement regarding the President's nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to serve as Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court.

Senator Martinez said:

"During the twenty-five years I spent in Florida courts, I gained a great respect for our judicial system and the importance it plays in our society. At the apex of this system is the Supreme Court of the United States. On that court, we must have the very best.

"As an Hispanic-American, I take great pride in seeing the nomination of an Hispanic person to serve in this high position - an historic first. Judge Sonia Sotomayor's personal life story is one of great accomplishments and a source of inspiration; it also demonstrates the great opportunities our nation has to offer.

"The appointment and confirmation of Federal judges is the only time that the Constitution brings all three branches of our government together into one unified process. These unique opportunities require that all participants work to ensure the process is both fair and thorough. When it comes to judicial candidates, we ought to look at experience, fairness, impartiality, temperament, and knowledge of the law. I look forward to participating in a fair and thorough process as the Senate conducts its constitutionally-required examination of Judge Sotomayor's qualifications for serving on the nation's highest court."