Sonia Sotomayor: I've Wept Over SCOTUS Rulings

Liberal member of high court says she's cried after certain cases, likely will again
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2024 9:00 AM CDT
Sotomayor: Even Supreme Court Justices Cry Over Rulings
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor attends a panel discussion at the winter meeting of the National Governors Association on Feb. 23 in Washington.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

Even cowgirls and Supreme Court justices get the blues. Justice Sonia Sotomayor confirmed the latter on Friday, revealing that she's wept after certain rulings that she and her colleagues on the high court's bench have handed down, reports CNN. "There are days that I've come to my office after an announcement of a case and closed my door and cried," Sotomayor said as she accepted an award at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. "There have been those days. And there are likely to be more."

Sotomayor noted that "there are moments when I'm deeply, deeply sad," as well as moments of "desperation," but she insisted that "you have to own it" when distressing things happen. "You have to accept it," she noted. "You have to shed the tears, and then you have to wipe them and get up and fight some more." Sotomayor also dove into family matters, revealing particular affection toward her mother, who raised her as a single parent after her dad died when she was 9. "If I'm half the woman my mother was, then I'm satisfied because she was amazing," Sotomayor said, noting how much admiration she had for her mom after she went back to school to become a registered nurse when Sotomayor was in high school, per the New York Times.

Sotomayor also shared that when she was asked to become a Supreme Court justice, she feared that job would take away precious time she could spend with her mother, who at that point had been diagnosed with memory loss—a fear her mom quickly assuaged, telling her, "Don't you dare not do this because of me. You would take away the dream I spent my life building for you. I wanted you to be the very best you can." CNN notes that cases that appear at this time of year in front of the Supreme Court tend to become more "politically or legally fraught" in June, right before the court heads into summer recess—meaning there may be some more Sotomayor tears before the session wraps up. (More Sonia Sotomayor stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.