Justice Sonia Sotomayor: An Inspiration to All

Women’s History Month every March commemorates the contributions of women throughout history and in the modern day. Someone that everyone should learn more about this Women’s History Month is Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court Justice and the third woman in history to be an Associate Justice. She is an accomplished lawyer known for her passionate dissents from Supreme Court cases; an icon for young girls and women across the country.

Justice Sotomayor grew up in the Bronx with a close-knit family that hailed from Puerto Rico. Her father passed away when she was 9 years old and she has dealt with type 1 diabetes all her life. Even though she had to face many obstacles, she graduated as the high school valedictorian of her school, graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University, and attended Yale University for her Juris Doctor. At Princeton University, she often said she felt out of place because she was one of the few minority students and realized she had a weakness in writing compared to her peers who had more literary exposure and experiences.  To improve her writing, she immersed herself in reading classics she never read in her youth and studied writing, grammar, and vocabulary outside of class. This is inspirational to students everywhere because it shows them that through hard work and being resourceful and determined, one can rise to the challenge. After completing her schooling, Justice Sotomayor worked as an assistant at the District Attorney’s office and later went to work in private practice.  She was appointed as a judge for the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and later for the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. One of her most notable cases during her time as a judge was Silverman v. Major League Baseball Player Relations Committee, Inc where she is dubbed to have saved Major League Baseball after the players went on strike.  

Now on the Supreme Court, she is part of the liberal bloc of justices which are considered to be in the minority due to the court being the most conservative it has been in decades. Despite the cases not being decided the way she sees as right, she has written passionate dissents to express her opinions. Two of her most notable dissents that everyone should know about are her dissents in the cases: Schuette v. BAMN and Trump v. Hawaii. In her dissent in Schuette v. BAMN, she detailed the necessity of affirmative action and her personal connection to the program. In Trump v. Hawaii, she wrote a scathing dissent criticizing the court’s decision to not rule the travel ban as a violation of religious liberty. 

As a woman who has broken through many barriers, she is an amazing and important public servant who deserves recognition for her devotion to the law.