[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/07/12/sotomayor.hearing/art.sotomayor.franken.gi.jpg caption="Judge Sonia Sotomayor meets with Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, in Washington last week."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - After weeks of meeting senators and preparing for tough questions, Sonia Sotomayor on Monday begins the formal hearings on her nomination to become the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will start considering whether Sotomayor should be the 111th person to sit on the nation's highest court. If confirmed, she would be the third woman justice.
Sotomayor, 55, received a good-luck telephone call Sunday from President Obama, according to a White House statement.
Obama "complimented the judge for making courtesy calls to 89 senators in which she discussed her adherence to the rule of law throughout her 17 years on the federal bench," the statement said. "The president expressed his confidence that Judge Sotomayor would be confirmed to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court for many years to come."
Democrats who hold a majority in both the Judiciary Committee and the full Senate predict she will easily win approval from both.