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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir “My Beloved World” vividly describes her less-than-desirable childhood in the Bronx.In a judicial world where the justices are known for being more tight-lipped than the CIA, Sotomayor seems to have no problem laying it all out there in terms of her past and her personal life.
And truth to be told, that type of honesty is refreshing in such a public figure, especially when that figure wields so much power over the country.
The first Hispanic justice, Sotomayor grew up in a Bronx housing project and survived poverty, an alcoholic father, and diabetes., KTVU reported in January.
“To say that Justice Sotomayor is less cloistered than most of her predecessors and colleagues may be an understatement: among many other appearances to promote her book, she salsa-danced with the Univision anchor Jorge Ramos in her chambers,” The New York Times wrote about the justice’s book promotion tour.
In an interview with Jon Stewart, Sotomayor revealed everything from candid details about her childhood to frank views of the high court.
Sotomayor was quick to joke she doesn’t fear public backlash over her rulings “because I have a job forever.”
“The reason that we have jobs under the Constitution for life is to protect us against public opinion,” Sotomayor told Stewart. “To permit us to do what we think is right without the fear of losing our jobs and without the fear that public opinion could coerce us not to be courageous.”
Sotomayor’s candor might be concerning if she were revealing confidential details about cases before the Supreme Court or private details about her fellow justices. But her revelations about her personal struggles help her serve as a positive role model for children growing up in similar circumstances.
“It is my great hope that I’ll be a great justice, and that I’ll write opinions that will last the ages,” Sotomayor said at her book signing, according to the Times. “But that doesn’t always happen. More importantly, it’s only one measure of meaning in life. To me, the more important one is my values and my impact on people who feel inspired in any way by me.”
Sotomayor’s forthrightness could go a long way in restoring America’s faith in its highest court.
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