Here’s a Short List of 5 Potential Latino Supreme Court Nominees

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It may seem hard to believe, but it was not so long ago that Sonia Sotomayor was far from a household name. The country’s first Hispanic Supreme Court justice lived most of her life in relative obscurity until President Obama nominated her to the high court in 2009. Then came her nationally televised confirmation hearings, the iconic phrase “Wise Latina,” and her best-selling memoir.

Now, as President Obama prepares to name a replacement for the deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, there are several Latinos who are reportedly on his short list for possible nominees – and they could soon see their lives change dramatically as well.

RELATED: In Memoir, Sonia Sotomayor Reveals Childhood Struggles and Fighting Spirit

Yet what makes this Supreme Court nomination so unusual is how politically charged it has already become. Senate Republicans have vowed not to hold any hearings or votes on Scalia’s successor until President Obama is out of office. “Presidents have a right to nominate, just as the Senate has its constitutional right to provide or withhold consent,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “In this case, the Senate will withhold it.”

Still, there has been much speculation about potential Court nominees. Asian-American groups, for example, have lobbied for an Asian-American justice. Nevada’s Republican Governor Brian Sandoval was rumored to be a candidate, until he took himself out of the running.

Image: Sonia Sotomayor

File photo of Latina Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.