Monday, February 8, 2010

10 More Things to Know About Justice Sotomayor

I think we need to bask a little longer in the glow of the Honorable Justice Sonia Sotomayor's nomination and confirmation. It is not every day, month, year or even decade-- that a Latina is seated in the highest court of the land. It took years and hard work for this to happen, let's enjoy it! I have been a fan of Justice Sotomayor since I met her at my law school during a visit in 2003, and am always interested in learning more about her. In this inaugural blog post, I offer 10 things I have learned about Justice Sotomayor, so we can celebrate a little longer. Aqui van (Here they go):

1. She is the first person appointed by three presidents from the two different parties. First, Bush 41, then Clinton and finally, Obama. Not only is she exceedingly qualified, she knows how to navigate all sorts of political waters--adelante!
2. According to the NAACP's Ted Shaw, she is the first Supreme Court Justice raised in the projects. You can imagine the effects of her presence in the Supreme Court when she shares her experiences with other Justices in conference...I am glad someone with her socioeconomic background is there.
3. She is quick on her feet-but we already knew that! Here is more evidence of this ability. Lauren Collins reports in a January 11th , 2010 New Yorker article that: "when Senator David Vitter, a Republican from Louisiana, told her" 'I want to ask you—do you think if I was you, and I had made the wise-Latina comment that you made, that I would have deserved to be a Supreme Court Justice?' Justice Sotomayor replied, “If you had my record, yes.”
4. She is not easily intimidated either, again according to The New Yorker, "when [South Carolina Republican Senator] Lindsey Graham attempted to trap her into repeating the “wise Latina” comment for the evening news, she simply sat it out as he shuffled through his papers, making a show of not being able to find the quote. " She also showed excellent lawyering skills, by not filling in the silence during the pause in the questioning.
5. She is not afraid to take on new challenges, and she prepares well for them-but we also already knew that! Here is more evidence of this trait. A lifelong Yankees fan, she was invited to throw the first pitch at a game against the Red Sox this past September. To prepare to throw the first pitch, she practiced with the help of a personal-trainer friend. Bien hecho!

6. She has already been spoofed on NBC's Saturday Night Live, see You can also find the video on the January 30, 2010 episode on the NBC website. I am sure this a record time for a recently appointed Supreme Court Justice to make it onto the venerable (35 years old!) show.
7. She has a sense of humor about herself. Just take a look at this Lalo Alcaraz drawing that The New Yorker reports she has framed in her office. Role model for young Latinas, anyone?

8. She embodies the CRT theme intersectionality-as a woman, a Latina and because of her diabetes (she has insulin injections daily). Judge Guido Calabresi states this view in a non CRT way, as reported in The New Yorker: “Her whole experience as part of three discriminated-against groups, and ones which are not always coherent with each other—I’m talking about ethnicity, gender, and disability—plus her legal experience, in really being a district judge, really being a Court of Appeals judge, makes her different from really any Justice that I can think of.”
9. Her warm personality has already garnered her somewhat of a fan club. Again, according to The New Yorker, "Justice John Paul Stevens, who has long shunned White House ceremonies for new Justices, showed up [to a reception in her honor at the While House], telling people that he felt as though he’d known Sotomayor his entire life."
10. LATINA magazine in its December 2009/January 2010 issue reports that her favorite nail color is fire engine red. However, she kept her nails neutral during the confirmation hearings, at her White House team's request. LATINA further reports that at the reception celebrating her appointment, she showed President Obama her freshly manicured nails, which were back to her favorite color. Here's to a Supreme Court Justice who we can continue to celebrate!

1 comment:

  1. This post hopefully enlightens many on the gendered and raicalized nature of the confirmation process and tenure of this wise supreme court justice.


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