Entries in Sonia Sotomayor (3)


Justice Sotomayor Says Swearing In VP Biden Will Be â€˜Surreal’

(WASHINGTON) -- Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says that one of the most significant moments of her life will take place this week during President Obama's second inauguration.

Sotomayor, born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, said in an interview with ABC News/Univision's Jorge Ramos that her role administering the oath of office to Biden is "enormously important" to her, almost as much as being named to the high court.

"It will be one among many, but a second very important improbable event happening in my life," she said. "As a child I never imagined being a Supreme Court justice. I never imagined swearing in a vice president either. It's going to feel a little surreal."

Sotomayor became the first Hispanic person to serve on the Supreme Court in 2009. And this month she was selected to be the first Hispanic person to administer an inaugural oath of office.

The justice has recently opened up about her past with the release of her new memoir My Beloved Life. In it, she tells the journey of growing up poor in the Bronx to attending Princeton University and Yale Law School and credits affirmative action policies changed the course of her life.

But while she recognizes the value of having more women and minorities in positions of power, she told Ramos that more women on the bench would not necessarily change how the court decides controversial cases on issues like abortion and gun rights.

"You know, you can't ever tell because that is generalizing or stereotyping believing that every women is going to vote the same way in every case or that every women feels the same about societal issues," she said. "We are all different whether we are women or men, and so I think our decisions are going to be made on our views of what the law says they should be, not our views but what our vote should be."

Sotomayor has declined to comment on an upcoming case that challenges affirmative action policies at the University of Texas and likewise, she refused to detail her views on gun laws as President Obama and Congress begin to consider new gun-control measures in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting.

"Those are the questions the court is going to look at; and for me to give a personal opinion is going to suggest to the public that I have made up my mind. I haven't," she said. "I have to see what the law is, I have to read what the parties argue about the law, I have to study the history and then I decide."

At the end of the interview, Justice Sotomayor agreed to show Jorge Ramos her salsa dancing skills. Not only can the news anchor ask tough questions, but he's the only one who could ask a Supreme Court Justice to dance on national television.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Justice Sotomayor to Swear in Biden at Inauguration

Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor will swear in Vice President Joe Biden, becoming the first Hispanic person to administer an inaugural oath of office.

The news was announced Friday by the Presidential Inaugural Committee and is significant, given that only three other women have administered an inaugural oath.  The most recent was Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who swore in Vice President Al Gore in 1997.  Sotomayor is also the first Hispanic person to serve on the Supreme Court.

"It's an incredible honor to have Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor swear me in," Biden said in a statement.  "I believed strongly that she would make a great Justice, and it was one of the greatest pleasures of my career to be involved in her selection to the Court.  From the first time I met her, I was impressed by Justice Sotomayor's commitment to justice and opportunity for all Americans, and she continues to exemplify those values today."

The selection of Sotomayor comes after an election in which Latino voters helped propel President Obama to victory.  More than 70 percent of Latino voters backed Obama over GOP candidate Mitt Romney, and Hispanics made up 10 percent of the national electorate for the first time ever.

Referencing the election results, Biden called Latinos "the center of this nation's future," during a speech to the non-profit Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Thursday night.

The election, "let the world know, let the Republicans know, let others know that if you ignore the needs of the Hispanic people, you will not win," he said.

Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to Obama.  Both Obama and Biden will be officially sworn in during smaller, private ceremonies on Sunday, Jan. 20, and then participate in a ceremonial swearing-in on Monday, Jan. 21, in front of a large crowd outside the U.S. Capitol.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Romney Defends Sotomayor Criticism in Puerto Rico

Jose CABEZAS/AFP/Getty Images(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) -- Campaigning in Puerto Rico, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney continues to defend his criticism of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an icon in the Latino community.

Sotomayor is of Puerto Rican heritage and widely supported by Democrats and Republicans alike throughout the island. Upon arriving in San Juan on Friday, Romney faced questions about his accusation that Sotomayor is an “activist, a liberal jurist.”

Last week Romney’s campaign released a radio ad in Ohio attacking Santorum for his 1998 vote to confirm Sotomayor to the federal circuit court, a decision that “put her on the path to the Supreme Court,” said conservative lawyer Jay Sekulow in the ad.

In Puerto Rico, Romney told a reporter for Noti Uno, ”I prefer people who follow the Constitution and do not make law as a judge.”

One reporter asked Romney if he understood that this attack ad “is sensitive for many Hispanics.”

But Romney didn’t budge from his opposition to her nomination to the country’s highest court. The former governor said he still disagrees with her judicial philosophy, which he called “quite different from my own.”

Romney added that he would be “happy” to support a Puerto Rican justice, “but they would have to share my judicial philosophy. That comes first.”

Puerto Rico will hold its Republican primary on Sunday.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio