On The "Most Electrifying Moment Of My Life"
During an interview with Oprah, the Hispanic justice recalled the call from President Barack Obama, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/23/sonia-sotomayor-on-oprah_n_2934007.html?utm_hp_ref=sonia-sotomayor" target="_blank">who informed her she would be his nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court.</a> “I don’t cry, [but] the tears started to come down my eyes,” Sotomayor said. “They just shot out. And my heart was beating so hard that I actually thought he could hear my heart. "It was the most electrifying moment of my life,” she continued. “A moment in which you sit and realize that you’ve gone further than any dream you ever had, that you’ve reached something that never seemed possible. It is an overwhelming moment.”
"The Perfect Affirmative Action Baby"
During the process of nomination in 2009, <a href="http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/06/11/sotomayor.affirmative.action/" target="_blank">a review of Sonia's past statements revealed this quote: </a> "I am a product of affirmative action," she said. "I am the perfect affirmative action baby. I am Puerto Rican, born and raised in the south Bronx. My test scores were not comparable to my colleagues at Princeton and Yale. Not so far off so that I wasn't able to succeed at those institutions."
Question On Gay Marriage
In March, Justice Sonia Sotomayor left the lawyer defending California’s Proposition 8 <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/27/sonia-sotomayor-gay-marriage_n_2965105.html?utm_hp_ref=sonia-sotomayor" target="_blank">stumped with just one unforgettable question. </a> <blockquote>Outside of the marriage context, can you think of any other rational basis, reason, for a state using sexual orientation as a factor in denying homosexuals benefits? Or imposing burdens on them? Is there any other decision-making that the government could make -- denying them a job, not granting them benefits of some sort, any other decision? “Your Honor, I cannot,” Charles Cooper said. “I, I do not have, uh, uh, any, uh, anything to offer you in that regard.” </blockquote>
On Hard Truths
After receiving a Honorary Doctor of Laws during commencement at Yale University the<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/22/sonia-sotomayor-yale_n_3318773.html?utm_hp_ref=sonia-sotomayor" target="_blank"> justice had a couple of truths</a> to tell the law students: "Sometimes it gets boring. No justice is supposed to say that. But, you know, there's drudgery in every job you're going to do." And some harder truths... "No, not all of you can be on the Supreme Court. There are only nine seats and you've got the job forever."
On Wise Latinas
This quote almost lost her the 2009 Supreme Court bid, but <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/aaron-harber/sonia-sotomayor----the-wi_b_217230.html" target="_blank">others came to her defense explaining</a> the now Justice compared experience and inexperience, not races. "I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn't lived that life."
While <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/25/sonia-sotomayor-prosecutor_n_2759273.html?utm_hp_ref=sonia-sotomayor" target="_blank">questioning an African-American defendant</a> in a drug case a prosecutor asked: "You've got African-Americans, you've got Hispanics, you've got a bag full of money. Does that tell you - a light bulb doesn't go off in your head and say, this is a drug deal?" As the first Hispanic Justice Sotomayor wrote that the lawyer had "tapped a deep and sorry vein of racial prejudice that has run through the history of criminal justice in our nation."
On Raising Successful Children
During an interview with Oprah, the Justice spoke about her <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/27/supreme-court-justice-sonia-sotomayor-oprah_n_2957013.html?utm_hp_ref=sonia-sotomayor" target="_blank">mother's parenting philosophies</a> and what she believes is the key to raising successful children. "You really do need a parent who's willing to set themselves aside, and their own hopes and dreams," she explains. "If your child marches to a different beat, a different drummer, you might just have to go along with that music. Help them achieve what's important to them." PHOTO: The Supreme Court's newest member Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor (R) poses with her mother Celina Sotomayor.
On Having A Rich Life
This one needs no introduction: "Although I grew up in very modest and challenging circumstances, I consider my life to be immeasurably rich."
Some Health Advice From Sonia: Salsa
While promoting her memoir "My Beloved World," the Justice gave a bit of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/22/sonia-sotomayor-dance-salsa-health-latinos_n_2517320.html?utm_hp_ref=sonia-sotomayor" target="_blank">health advice to the audience</a> that had gathered in New York's Museo Del Barrio. <blockquote>“As Latinos, we do a lot of salsa, and that’s healthy,” Sotomayor said. “What do you think they’re doing in the gyms right now?” She asked, referring to the rising popularity of zumba and other dance classes. “They’re doing salsa!”</blockquote> Check out a video of the Justice practicing what she preaches while dancing with actor Esai Morales! She's even <a href="http://univisionnews.tumblr.com/post/40936332629/sonia-sotomayor-salsa-jorge-ramos" target="_blank">danced with Jorge Ramos. </a>
"A Tribute To The Latino Community"
In January 2013, Justice Sotomayor was the first Hispanic judge chosen to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/18/sonia-sotomayor-says-presidential-inauguration-role-is-a-tribute-to-the-latino-community_n_2505113.html" target="_blank">administer an oath at an inaugural ceremony. </a> "It is a tribute to the Latino community, to how important we have grown to be in the U.S. that a vice president of the United States would think it appropriate to ask the first Hispanic justice on the Supreme Court to swear him in," Sotomayor told EFE. Vice President Joe Biden, left, takes the oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, right, as his wife Jill Biden holds the family bible and other family members look on at the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, Sunday, January 20, 2013. (AP Photos/Kevin Lamarque, Pool)
On Being More Than A Princess
Many little girls in the world dream of being a princess, but Sonia Sotomayor wants these future leaders to dream bigger. During an appearance on Sesame Street, the Justice had <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/11/supreme-court-justice-sonia-sotomayor-sesame-street_n_2113625.html?utm_hp_ref=sonia-sotomayor" target="_blank">some advice for Abby</a>, who's biggest dream was to be a princess. "[A career is] a job you train for, or prepare for and plan on doing for a long time,"Sotomayor told the puppet."Pretending to be a princess is fun, but it is definitely not a career."
The verdict is in, the jury has decided it’s time to celebrate Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s birthday!
There’s not doubt these are busy times for the Supreme Court -- as they rule on everything from Affirmative Action to California’s Prop 8 -- but it doesn’t mean we’ve forgotten that today is the day Justice Sotomayor turns 59. Happy Birthday Sonia!
As an homage to the first Hispanic Justice to be nominated onto the Supreme Court, we’ve compiled some of Sonia Sotomayor’s most memorable quotes.
Take a look at the slideshow above and send your birthday wishes in the comments below.
<a href="http://www.cbsnews.com/2100-18563_162-5227296.html" target="_hplink">According to friends and former coworkers,</a> Sotomayor likes to work hard and play hard. <a href="http://www.mrc.org/node/34740" target="_hplink">For her 50th birthday,</a> Sotomayor learned how to salsa dance and rumor on the street is that she's great on the dance floor. In 2009, she wooed the attendees at the annual gala of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts in D.C. when actor Esai Morales pulled the Supreme Court's first Latino member onto the dance floor. "The room exploded," <a href="http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2009/09/justice_sotomayor_dances_with.html?wprss=reliable-source" target="_hplink">according to the Washington Post.</a>
She Saved A Nation's Favorite Pastime
A South Bronx native, Justice Sotomayor is a devoted baseball supporter. (Yankees fan at heart). In 1995 she joined the league of admired baseball figures-- Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mayes and the like--after <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/15/us/15sotomayor.html?_r=2" target="_hplink">she ended a 232-day long baseball strike, ruling against the owners in favor of the players.</a> Some say Sotomayor <a href="http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1900974,00.html" target="_hplink">"saved baseball"</a> after ending a dispute that could have ruined the sport for good.
At the age of eight, Justice Sotomayor was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes. Ever since she's been injecting herself four times a day. <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/judicial/supremecourtjustices/2011-06-21-sotomayor-diabetes-court_n.htm" target="_hplink">Last year spoke to a group of children </a>about her diabetes at an event sponsored by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, according to USA Today. She told the children, that life as a diabetic gets easier with time once you start learning about your own body and she stressed the fact that diabetics could become anything they wanted to be.
Prior to choosing a law career path, Sonia Sotomayor had different aspirations. <a href="http://www.politicsdaily.com/2009/05/26/what-nancy-drew-taught-sonia-sotomayor/" target="_hplink">Inspired by Nancy Drew</a>, her favorite childhood fictional sleuth. Sotomayor was initially interested in criminal justice. But when she was diagnosed with type 1-diabetes at the age of eight, Sotomayor was told she would never make it as a police detective. Motivated by Nancy Drew's drive, Sotomayor redirected her plan and moved forward. She may not be the detective she once aimed for, but it's safe to say Nancy Drew would've been proud.
Sonia Sotomayor took the stance as the NYU graduation commencent speaker in 2012. Not only has she built a formidable career for herself, Justice Sotomayor has done it from scratch and has excelled as a student along the entire way. She was <a href="http://typeaparent.com/ten-facts-about-sonia-sotomayor.html" target="_hplink">valedictorian at both</a> her catholic middle school and catholic high school. She attended Princeton University where she <a href="http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-sotomayor-profile31-2009may31,0,2464037.story" target="_hplink">graduated summa cum laude</a> and she received the M. Taylor Pyne Prize, the highest honor Princeton awards to an undergraduate. She attended Yale Law School where she worked as the editor of the Yale Law School Journal. Then, she worked as a prosecutor and a corporate lawyer in New York, and while serving as a federal judge for 17 years.
The first Latina Justice of the Supreme Court has many tricks up her sleeve and one of them is her Cupid-esque qualities. In 2009, Sotomayor <a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-10-14/news/17937750_1_law-clerks-sonia-sotomayor-wedding" target="_hplink"> officiated the civil wedding for one of her friends and former law clerks.</a>
Family Above All
Sonia Sotomayor was born to a Puerto Rican family and grew up in a public housing project in South Bronx, New York. Her parents moved to New York during World War II where her mother served in the Women's Auxiliary Corps. Her father, a factory worker, passed away when Sotomayor was nine years old. Her mother raised her and her brother (now a doctor at Syracuse). When President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor as federal appeals judge in New York, to the Supreme Court, in a heartfelt speech Sotomayor paid an emotional tribute to her mother Celina Sotomayor. "My mother has devoted her life to my brother and me. And as the President mentioned, she worked often two jobs to help support us after Dad died," Sotomayor said<a href="http://articles.nydailynews.com/2009-05-26/news/17923253_1_celina-sotomayor-sonia-sotomayor-president-obama" target="_hplink"> according to NY Daily News.</a> "I have often said that I am all that I am because of her and I am only half the woman she is."
Loves Sesame Street
Over a cup of coffee <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/07/sotomayor-on-sesamestreet_n_1260961.html" target="_hplink">with her friend Maria on Sesame Street</a>, the first Hispanic on the high court -- who has served on the Supreme Court since her appointment by President Obama in August 2009 -- doled out some justice...