Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

This Hispanic Heritage Month, WWCDA celebrates the Hispanic and Latinx women who have blazed trails for women of all backgrounds and advanced the cause of equal justice under the law. We especially want to recognize the three trailblazers below. 


Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Justice Sonia Sotomayor is an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. She is only the third woman, and the first woman of color, first Hispanic, and first Latina member of the Court. Hailing from the Bronx, New York, Justice Sotomayor graduated from Princeton University summa cum laude and earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. From 1979-1984, she served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney’s Office. She then joined the law firm Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992-1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998-2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.

Catherine Cortez Masto

Catherine Cortez Masto

In November 2016, Catherine Cortez Masto became the first woman from Nevada and the first Latina to be elected to the United States Senate. She also served as the first female Attorney General of Nevada and spent her two terms as AG prioritizing the prosecution of illegal drug and sex trafficking, elder exploitation, and the creation of a Mortgage Fraud Strike Force.

As a United States Senator, she serves as the Ranking Member of the Economic Policy Subcommittee of the U.S. Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno, and Gonzaga University School of Law. She spent four years working as a civil practitioner in Las Vegas and two years as a criminal prosecutor for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C., before being elected Nevada’s AG.

Miriam Naveira Merly

Miriam Naveira Merly

Miriam Naveira Merly accomplished many “firsts” in her storied career. She was the first woman to serve as the Solicitor General of Puerto Rico and in that capacity, she became the first Latina to argue before the U.S. Supreme Court in 1975. She later became the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, where she served on the bench from 1985 to 2004, and served as the court’s first female Chief Justice from 2003 to 2004. She was known as a pragmatic and moderate jurist.