[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/07/14/art.sotohand0714.gi.jpg caption="In an e-mail sent to supporters Tuesday, President Obama said the public would see 'a sharp and fearless jurist' when Judge Sotomayor takes questions from senators."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - As Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor faced her first day of questioning by the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday, President Obama sent a message to supporters asking them to forward an e-mail praising the judge to their individual networks of contacts.
The president praised Sotomayor as having a "brilliant legal mind . . . complemented by the practical lessons that can only be learned by applying the law to real world situations."
"And then there is Judge Sotomayor's incredible personal story," Obama also writes, making reference to Sotomayor's rags-to-robes rise from a South Bronx housing project to the federal appellate courts.
"It takes a certain resilience and determination to rise up out of such circumstances, focus, work hard and achieve the American dream," Obama tells his supporters.
In the message, Obama also seems to promise his supporters that Sotomayor will make a good showing up against what will likely be some tough questioning during the confirmation hearings.
"What members of the Judiciary Committee, and the American people, will see today is a sharp and fearless jurist who does not let powerful interests bully her into breaking from the rule of law."
Obama's e-mail also contains a link to a post on the White House's blog where users can view a video clip of Sotomayor's opening statement delivered Monday afternoon before the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as other information about Obama's nominee.
The e-mail was sent out through the White House e-mail list for supporters who signed up to receive updates from the Obama administration on whitehouse.gov.
In late May, both Obama and Vice President Biden sent out e-mails about Sotomayor to their supporters using the e-mail list of Organizing for America, an organization affiliated with the Democratic National Committee that was set-up to continue the grassroots work of the millions who supported Obama during the presidential campaign.