U.S. Supreme Court

In Appearances and on Court, Sotomayor Becomes More of a Public Figure


Justice Sonia Sotomayor is the court’s third-most well-known justice, according to a survey taken this spring, but her public appearances and vocal role could change that.

The Findlaw poll found only two justices who were better known: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Clarence Thomas. Now Sotomayor is increasingly making herself a public figure, Bloomberg News reports, as she uses the court’s midwinter recess to speak with students.

“On a U.S. Supreme Court full of justices with a lot to say, Sonia Sotomayor is beginning to find her voice,” the Bloomberg story says. “In her second term since President Barack Obama appointed her in 2009, Sotomayor is speaking out from the bench for the rights of prison inmates, banding with her fellow Democratic appointees on ideologically divisive issues and boring into the details of federal securities-fraud laws.”

Sotomayor interjected 31 times in oral arguments in a vaccine case, the story says, and has interrupted a colleague more than once, “leaving it to Chief Justice John Roberts to direct traffic.”

Coverage of Sotomayor’s recent appearances:

ABAJournal.com: “Sotomayor Warns Law Students About Information Overload”

ABAJournal.com: “Some Justices Still Haven’t Mastered E-Mail, Sotomayor Says”

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