LATINO VOICES

Sonia Sotomayor Almost Stopped Pursuing A Seat On The Supreme Court

A friend told her, "this is not about you."

Sonia Sotomayor made history in 2009, becoming the first Latina Justice of the Supreme Court. But according to a recent speech,  she considered pulling out of the confirmation process altogether.

The Justice, a Bronx native and daughter of Puerto Rican parents, told students and faculty at the University of Richmond School of Law on Tuesday that she considered "pulling out" of the Supreme Court Justice confirmation process, due to criticisms she faced during the hearings. 

In a video of her speech at the law school, Sotomayor revealed that she once asked a friend, "Is it worth my getting to the court with a diminished reputation?"

Her friend's encouraging response -- "this is not about you" -- helped motivate Sotomayor to continue.

"This is about my daughter," Sotomayor recalled her friend saying. "She’s 8 years old, and there’s no Hispanic in a high position of power in the United States of America. Your presence there will give her, and many other children with similar backgrounds of different ethnicities, the possibility of hope."

Wendy Collins Perdue, dean of the University of Richmond School of Law, told The Huffington Post in an e-mail that Sotomayor's speech was "oddly reassuring."

"Many women and minorities have had their competence questioned." she said. "It was deeply troubling but also oddly reassuring that one of the most accomplished women in America has faced and overcome this kind of bias."

Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama to the Supreme Court in May 2009 and sworn in that August.

Perdue thinks Sotomayor's recent visit gave "hope" to Richmond's law students. 

"Justice Sotomayor’s message of optimism, possibility and hope was an inspiring reminder of where their legal education can take them."

 

 

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