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    ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

    Sotomayor Sworn in Today

    J. Scott Applewhite / AP Photo

    It's a big day for Sonia Sotomayor. Obama’s No. 1 draft pick was administered two oaths in an 11 a.m. ceremony: the first among a small group of friends and family; then the judicial oath, which was the first televised ceremony of its kind. Sotomayor is the third woman and first Hispanic to join the Supreme Court. On Wednesday, Obama will host a reception for Sotomayor at the White House and the court will formally inaugurate the 55-year-old New Yorker in a month’s time. But what lies ahead in Sotomayor’s rookie years? “She is going to really disappear into her work, for a year, if not more,” said Dawn Cardi, a lawyer in New York and a close friend of Sotomayor’s. The justices are rarely seen because hearings aren’t televised (a notion Sotomayor is open to amending), so the judge will likely fall off the radar after her first case Sept. 9, which will reevaluate campaign-finance reform. Studies show that a justice’s decisions in the first term are not accurate forecasts of their career-long jurisprudence. For new justices, who are given very little guidance from the surrounding eight chambers on learning the High Court ropes, this news likely comes as a relief. Said Stephen R. McAllister, who was one of Justice Clarence Thomas’s clerks: “You’re a justice now; you figure out how to do it.”