Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday urged law students to channel their disappointment with the U.S. judicial system into fighting for change.
In an appearance at New York’s Fordham University School of Law, where she took questions from attendees, the liberal justice attributed some of the disenfranchisement Americans feel with the Supreme Court to “decisions of my court that are altering approaches to the law in ways that people don’t understand,” according to CNN.
Last summer, the court’s conservative supermajority gutted the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion decision, overturning the right to abortion and sparking nationwide protests. The ruling prompted many states to outlaw or severely restrict the procedure.
The unprecedented leak of a draft opinion ahead of the decision also shook the court.
But Sotomayor advised students to not give up on justice.
“Wrong things can be changed,” she said.
“The arc of the universe does bend toward justice, but we have to help,” she continued.
Sotomayor said courts are “taking an even more prominent place in resolving political disputes because the political branches are unable to.”
She didn’t mention any pending cases, but noted that she has been on the losing side of many of the latest high-profile decisions, given the court’s 6-3 makeup.
The justices are due to rule on several important cases this term, including President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan that could impact millions of Americans.
Sotomayor, nominated by President Barack Obama, was confirmed to the Supreme Court in 2009, making history as the high court’s first Hispanic justice.