LATINO VOICES

Sonia Sotomayor Opens Up About The Heavy 'Burden' Of Her Job

"I have not anticipated how hard decision-making is on the court."
"I have not anticipated how hard decision-making is on the court," Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Thursday.
"I have not anticipated how hard decision-making is on the court," Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Thursday.

Heavy is the head that wears the crown, and so is the burden that falls on the shoulders of a U.S. Supreme Court Justice. 

That’s the sentiment Justice Sonia Sotomayor shared during a visit to the University of Wisconsin-Madison on Thursday to deliver the annual Robert W. Kastenmeier lecture, the Associated Press reports. Seven years after being sworn in as the court’s first Hispanic justice, Sotomayor said she still is in awe of her job but also recognizes it comes with a big responsibility. 

“I never forget that in every case, someone wins, and there’s an opposite, someone loses,” she told students. “And that burden feels very heavy to me. I have not anticipated how hard decision-making is on the court. Because of that big win and lose on the court... we are affecting lives across the country and sometimes across the world. I’m conscious that what I do will always affect someone.”

Being on the high court may certainly come with its set of challenges but that hasn’t stopped Sotomayor from being recognized for her work. The Hispanic Heritage Foundation will present her with the Leadership Award at the 29th Annual Hispanic Heritage Awards on Sept. 22 in Washington, D.C. 

“The Justice truly embodies what it means to be an American,” Jose Antonio Tijerino, president and CEO of Hispanic Heritage Foundation, said in a July statement where he announced the award. “The Hispanic community has made significant contributions throughout history, and we are proud to recognize that impact in the present and the future, as well.”

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