President Barack Obama has chosen New York jurist Sonia Sotomayor to succeed Justice David Souter on the Supreme Court.
If confirmed, she would be the nation's first Hispanic justice.
Obama said he was looking for a jurist who had "a common touch and a sense of compassion."
He said he had looked far and wide before settling on the 54-year-old Sotomayor, who initially was named to a federal judgeship by President George Herbert Walker Bush in 1992.
Obama noted that Sotomayor would replace Souter as the only trial judge on the high court.