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Justice Sonia Sotomayor Discusses Her Book And Life In Beverly Hills

Max Schwartz |
January 26, 2013 | 8:41 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

The Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills (pop culture geek/Creative Commons)
The Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills (pop culture geek/Creative Commons)
Justice Sonia Sotomayor stopped in Southern California on Friday and Saturday during her book tour to promote her memoir My Beloved World. The book was a three-year endeavor. On Friday evening Justice Sotomayor was in Pasadena signing books and on Saturday afternoon she was at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills.

Sotomayor, the first Hispanic, female Supreme Court Justice, appeared at the Saban Theatre as part of the WritersBloc Presents series. Eva Longoria asked Sotomayor questions about the book before a sold out crowd. It should be noted that Longoria appeared wearing her activist hat and not her actress hat. Longoria served as co-chair of the Presidential Inaugural Committee and was a co-chair of Obama for America.

Not only did the duo discuss the book, but Longoria also asked questions about being the first Latina on the Supreme Court and the first Hispanic justice to swear in the vice president, as well as questions about her childhood growing up in the Bronx and other parts of her life. Sotomayor also read and explained passages of her book to the audience.

The justice said it is like a “fantasy” to get to the Supreme Court and to swear in Vice President Biden. She did mention that she wanted to “hold on to old Sonia,” meaning she does not want to forget where she came from. She recalled how it was difficult for her to learn English when she was a child and how it was difficult for her to write English well.

Sotomayor told the audience that she met a lawyer for the first time when she was in high school and a judge for the first time when she was in law school. The justice wanted to be a lawyer because of a lawyer she saw on TV when she was young. She made the audience aware of this by saying, “My model was a TV lawyer.” 

The justice also described her family life from when she was little. Her father was an alcoholic who died when she was young. Sotomayor also said she had two moms, one before her father died and one after his death.

Sotomayor said she considers herself a feminist and remarked that she is “goal oriented.” She also discussed what it is like to argue cases and be on the deciding end. She did acknowledge that her decisions will always hurt some people. She said she never forgets, “the burden because [their] decisions affect so many people.” Sotomayor also said, “…rule in the way the law requires…” and she knows people will not always like the way she rules. 

She said she spends a lot of time doing community outreach to see that not all of society is bad and because she likes to see the positive parts of society.

After their discussion, Sotomayor and Longoria took questions from the audience. When asked about laws, the justice said that she still has to enforce the laws that she does not like. She indicated that she would be on the bench for a long time and said, “I’d like to be a great justice.”

During the question and answer period, Sotomayor was asked multiple questions about the Latino community. She said, “I am so proud of my Latino community…for the first time we came out in record…numbers,” when talking about the vote in the Latino community. The justice said, “It’s my hope…that I will have another Latino or Latina on the Court with me,” when asked about the future of Latinos on the bench.

After the question and answer with the audience, Justice Sotomayor walked around the theater saying hello to the audience and shaking hands.



Reach Executive Producer Max Schwartz here; follow him on Twitter here.



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