Sonia Sotomayor

  • Aired:  01/21/13
  •  | Views: 18,861

It's a shared passion for the law that allows Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and her colleagues to put up with each other. (6:34)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

MY GUEST TONIGHT IS A UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JUSTICE.

PLEASE WELCOME TO THE PRACTICE JUSTICE SONIA SOTOMAYOR.

( APPLAUSE ) THERE YOU GO.

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE ) THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

HOW ARE YOU?

>> I'M FINE.

Jon: THANK YOU FOR BEING HERE.

>> THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.

Jon: PLEASE.

I APPRECIATE THE BOOK BY THE WAY IS CALLED MY BELOVED WORLD.

FIRST OF ALL, YOU MUST BE EXHAUSTED TWO DAYS OF INAUGURAL FESTIVITIES.

YOU SWORE IN THE VICE PRESIDENT.

>> YESTERDAY?

Jon: YESTERDAY AND TODAY.

Jon: WILL YOU DO IT AGAIN TOMORROW UNTIL IT TAKES?

HOW MANY TIMES?

TALK ABOUT AS IN YOUR BOOK YOU'RE A KID FROM THE BRONX.

YOU COME OUT OF NOTHING.

AND THERE YOU ARE.

SITTING AT THE INAUGURATION OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND SWEARING IN THE VICE

PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

WHAT ARE THE EMOTIONS THAT GO THROUGH YOUR MIND IN THAT MOMENT?

>> IT IS THE MOST ETHEREAL MOMENT IN THE WORLD.

IT'S ALMOST LIKE AN OUT OF BODY EXPERIENCE.

YOU'RE ALMOST LOOKING AT YOURSELF FROM ABOVE YOUR HEAD DOWN.

AND YOU'RE HOPING THAT NOBODY PINCHES YOU BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO WAKE UP.

>> Jon: LET ME ASK YOU THIS.

WHICH OF THE OTHER JUSTICES WOULD BE THE PINCHER?

YOU DON'T HAVE TO ANSWER.

YOU DON'T HAVE TO ANSWER.

>> (LAUGHING) Jon: I'M JUST GOING TO GO THROUGH A LIST.

IS THERE... DO YOU HAVE A MOMENT TO REFLECT BACK ON GROWING UP BECAUSE YOUR CHILDHOOD BY ANY

ESTIMATION WAS A DIFFICULT ONE, WAS ONE THAT YOU HAD TO OVERCOME AN AWFUL LOT OF OBSTACLES.

IS THAT AT THE FOREFRONT OF YOUR MIND OR IS IT STILL JUST FOUNDATIONAL IN YOUR BEING?

>> STILL FOUNDATIONAL.

BUT, YOU KNOW, THE LAST THREE-AND-A-HALF YEARS SINCE I WAS NOMINATED TO THE COURT AND

THEN APPOINTED HAVE BEEN A SORT OF MAGICAL RIDE.

WHEN YOU'RE THRUST INTO SORT OF A WORLD STAGE, AS I HAVE BEEN, YOU START GETTING A LITTLE

AFRAID OF LOSING NOT THE FOUNDATION -- BECAUSE THAT'S A PART OF YOU -- BUT LOSING

CONNECTION TO THE DEPTHS OF THAT FOUNDATION.

CAUGHT UP IN THE WORLD OF THIS NEW LIFE.

I DIDN'T WANT TO DO THAT.

THAT'S WHY I MADE TIME TO WRITE THIS BOOK.

REALLY THE PRIMARY PURPOSE OF THE BOOK WAS TO REMEMBER THE REAL SONIA.

>> Jon: RIGHT AND TO HAVE SOMETHING TO REMIND ME OF IT AS I WAS MOVING FORWARD.

SO IT IS A PART OF ME.

IT'S SO FUNDAMENTAL TO WHO I AM.

THE CHILD I GREW UP BEING.

BUT THERE'S ALSO NEW EXPERIENCES I'M INCORPORATING, BUT I DON'T WANT TO LOSE TRACK OF SONIA

>> Jon: IT WOULD BE INTERESTING TO READ JUSTICE ROBERTS' DISSENT DISSENT.

>> (LAUGHING).

I WAS HOPING FOR A UNANIMOUS DECISION.

>> Jon: YOU NEVER KNOW.

OF ALL THE EXPERIENCES THAT YOU GO THROUGH, SO MUCH OF IT IS OVERCOMING OBSTACLES, DOING

THINGS THAT PEOPLE SAY YOU CAN'T.

NOW YOU'RE IN WHAT IS ONE OF THE MORE SECURE JOBS IN THE COUNTRY.

IS THERE ANY KIND OF IMPULSE TO TRULY JUST LET IT ALL HANG OUT LIKE IN YOUR OPINION... YOU

KNOW, IS IT DIFFICULT TO REMAIN MEASURED AS A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE, GIVEN THE LOFTY NATURE

OF THE POSITION AND THE POWER THAT COMES WITH IT?

>> IF YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF HISTORY AS A JUDGE, THEN YOU KNOW THAT WHAT LASTS IS THE

FORCE OF IDEAS AND THE STRENGTH OF YOUR EXPRESSION OF THEM.

AND TO LET IT ALL HANG OUT DOESN'T QUITE...

>> Jon: (LAUGHING).

( APPLAUSE ) FAIR ENOUGH.

IS THERE ANYTHING IN YOUR DELIBERATIONS WITH YOUR FELLOW JUSTICES THAT HAS SURPRISED YOU?

IS IT THE CARE WITH WHICH EVEN THE OPINIONS YOU DISAGREE WITH ARE PUT TOGETHER AND YOU CAN BE

IMPRESSED BY?

IS IT THE INTELLECT OF THE OTHER JUDICIAL GIANTS THAT YOU ARE IN WITH?

WHAT SURPRISED YOU ABOUT THE WAY THAT THE COURT DOES IT?

>> THE PASSION.

THE PASSION THAT ALL OF US HAVE.

WE ARE ALL EQUALLY PASSIONATE ABOUT THE CONSTITUTION, ABOUT THE COUNTRY, ABOUT WHAT WE DO.

IT'S WHAT LETS US PUT UP WITH EACH OTHER.

REALLY!

NO, MORE THAN THAT, YOU BECOME FRIENDS WITH PEOPLE WHO YOU KNOW ARE WORKING AS YOU ARE BECAUSE

OF THE LOVE OF WHAT YOU'RE DOING.

YOU CAN ACTUALLY DISAGREE, THE SAME WAY YOU DO WITH A BROTHER OR SISTER, AND YOU'LL READ IN MY

BOOK THAT I SPENT A LOT OF TIME BEATING UP MY BROTHER.

BUT YOU DO IT IN WORDS.

YOU DO IT IN POWERFUL MAJORITY DECISIONS, POWERFUL DISSENT THAT EXPRESSES THOSE PASSIONS AND

WAYS THAT WE HOPE WILL CONVINCE LEADERS AND FUTURE GENERATIONS ABOUT THE LEGITIMACY OF WHAT

WE'RE DOING.

SO I THINK THAT SURPRISED ME THE MOST.

YOU CAN SEE IT IF YOU COME VISIT THE COURT AND WATCH ONE OF OUR ARGUMENTS.

>> Jon: I'M GLAD TO KNOW THAT.

LISTEN, I'D HATE FOR YOU TO SAY HERE'S WHAT SURPRISED ME.

THESE GUYS PHONE IT IN.

YOU HAVE NO IDEA.

CAN YOU STICK AROUND?

WE'RE GOING TO TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE.

ME BELOVED WORLD IS ON THE BOOK SHELVES NOW.

A GREAT STORY.

JUSTICE SONIA

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