Sonia Maria Sotomayor (b. June 25, 1954) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, serving since August 2009. She is the 111th appointment to the Court, has the distinction of being its first justice of Hispanic heritage, its third female justice, and its twelfth Roman Catholic justice. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)
I am a New Yorker, and 7 am is a civilized hour to finish the day, not to start it.
I am a product of affirmative action. I am the perfect affirmative action baby. I am Puerto Rican, born and raised in the south Bronx. My test scores were not comparable to my colleagues at Princeton and Yale. Not so far off so that I wasn't able to succeed at those institutions.
I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.
I came to accept during my freshman year that many of the gaps in my knowledge and understanding were simply limits of class and cultural background, not lack of aptitude or application as I'd feared.
I do believe that every person has an equal opportunity to be a good and wise judge regardless of their background or life experiences.
I do not believe that any racial, ethnic or gender group has an advantage in sound judging. I do believe that every person has an equal opportunity to be a good and wise judge, regardless of their background or life experiences.
I don't believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should do honor to it.
I don't measure myself by others' expectations or let others define my worth.
I firmly believe in the rule of law as the foundation for all of our basic rights.
I had no need to apologize that the look-wider, search-more affirmative action that Princeton and Yale practiced had opened doors for me. That was its purpose: to create the conditions whereby students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be brought to the starting line of a race many were unaware was even being run.
I think it's important to move people beyond just dreaming into doing. They have to be able to see that you are just like them, and you made it.
I think that the day a justice forgets that each decision comes at a cost to someone, then I think you start losing your humanity.
If your child marches to a different beat, a different drummer, you might just have to go along with that music. Help them achieve what's important to them.
It is important for all of us to appreciate where we come from and how that history has really shaped us in ways that we might not understand.
Much of the uncertainty of law is not an unfortunate accident: it is of immense social value.
Sometimes, idealistic people are put off the whole business of networking as something tainted by flattery and the pursuit of selfish advantage. But virtue in obscurity is rewarded only in Heaven. To succeed in this world you have to be known to people.
There are uses to adversity, and they don't reveal themselves until tested. Whether it's serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths.
Until we get equality in education, we won't have an equal society.
We educated, privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society, to ensure that justice exists for all, both legal and economic justice.
Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.