U.S. Supreme Court

How Justice Sotomayor reacts to some opinion announcements

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AP Justice Sonia Sotomayor October 2022

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor in October 2022. (Photo by J. Scott Applewhite/The Associated Press)

Justice Sonia Sotomayor admitted Friday that her frustration with the conservative U.S. Supreme Court sometimes leads to tears.

“There are days that I’ve come to my office after an announcement of a case and closed my door and cried,” Sotomayor said during an appearance at the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University. “There have been those days. And there are likely to be more.”

The New York Times covered Sotomayor’s remarks, while How Appealing noted additional stories by the Harvard Crimson and the Washington Times.

While being questioned by Martha Minow, a former dean of Harvard Law School, Sotomayor said there is no reason to give up.

“You have to shed the tears and then you have to wipe them and get up,” she said.

Sotomayor also “spoke with great warmth” about her late mother, whom she described as “amazing,” according to the New York Times. Sotomayor’s father died when she was 9 years old, leaving her mother to raise her alone.

Sotomayor’s mother was so poor that she could not afford reading materials, so she retrieved newspapers from the garbage, she said. Her mother later resumed her education to become a registered nurse.

Sotomayor said she was at first hesitant to accept a Supreme Court nomination because her mother had been diagnosed with memory loss, according to the New York Times. Sotomayor worried that she would not have enough time to spend with her mother.

Sotomayor said her mother scolded her for considering the thought.

“Don’t you dare not do this because of me,” Sotomayor recalled her mother saying. “You would take away the dream I spent my life building for you. I wanted you to be the very best you can.”

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