"Its efforts helped bring bilingual education to public schools around the country. In 1981, the fund filed a lawsuit that prompted a federal court, on the eve of the city’s primary elections, to block voting in New York City. The suit, supported by Ms. Sotomayor and the rest of the board, alleged that the new City Council district boundaries diminished the influence of minority voters.
“It was a stunning victory,” recalled Cesar A. Perales, the defense fund’s president and general counsel, noting that the entire board embraced the effort. “Imagine you wake up and are going to vote and the headlines tell you, ‘No Election Today.’ ”