Sonia Sotomayor Quotes

This wealth of experiences personal and professional have helped me appreciate the variety of perspectives that present themselves in every case that I hear.

I savor life. When you have anything that threatens life... it prods you into stepping back and really appreciating the value of life and taking from it what you can.

All I can say is that with business and the interest of any party before me I will consider and apply the law as it is written by Congress and informed by precedent.

We apply law to facts. We don't apply feelings to facts.

The task of a judge is not to make the law - it is to apply the law.

Many of the gaps in my knowledge and understanding were simply limits of class and cultural background not lack of aptitude or application as I feared. Page 135

I come to every case with an open mind. Every case is new to me.

Much of the uncertainty of law is not an unfortunate accident: it is of immense social value.

I've always believed phone calls from kids must be allowed if mothers are to feel welcome in the workplace as anyone who has worked in my chambers can attest.

I think that even someone who got into an institution through affirmative action could prove they were qualified by what they accomplished there.

This is for an accomplished Latino an accomplished African American an accomplished anyone who disproves stereotypes it's a constant battle in your life.

Although wisdom is built on life experiences the mere accumulation of years guarantees nothing.

Sometimes even if there was no useful advice to give I saw that listening still helped.

Even though Article IV of the Constitution says that treaties are the 'supreme law of the land' in most instances they're not even law.

Experience has taught me that you cannot value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. Their real value is in stirring within us the will to aspire.

I stand on the shoulders of countless people yet there is one extraordinary person who is my life aspiration. That person is my mother Celina Sotomayor.

Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see.

There are cultural biases built into testing and that was one of the motivations for the concept of affirmative action - to try to balance out those effects.

You can't be a minority in this society without having someone express disapproval about affirmative action.

When I call myself an affirmative action baby I'm talking about the essence of what affirmative action was when it started.

I am a New Yorker and 7:00 A.M. is a civilized hour to finish the day not to start it.

I'm young at heart. I'm young in spirit and I'm still adventurous.

The challenges I have faced?among them material poverty chronic illness and being raised by a single mother?are not uncommon but neither have they kept me from uncommon achievements.

Although I grew up in very modest and challenging circumstances I consider my life to be immeasurably rich.

If I go home get a gun come back and shoot you that may not be legal under New York law because you would have alternative ways to defend.

The idea of a commonwealth relationship is alien to most people but I think that's true generally.

I found in my experiences that it's not that men are consciously discriminating against promoting women but I do believe as people we have self-images about what's good.

Each time I see a split infinitive an inconsistent tense structure or the unnecessary use of the passive voice I blister.

I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences. Today is one of those experiences.

I am willing to bet that there are some Puerto Ricans who don't know about [their status].

Dressing badly has been a refuge much of my life a way of compelling others to engage with my mind not my physical presence. Page. 283

There are no bystanders in this life.

There are no bystanders in life [...] Our humanity makes us each a part of something greater than ourselves.

The President [Barack Obama] had suggested that I not watch the news during the confirmation process. I assiduously followed his advice.

I strive never to forget the real world consequences of my decisions on individuals businesses and government.

In my experience when a friend unloaded about a boyfriend or spouse the listener soaked up the complaint and remembered it long after the speaker had forgiven the offense.

[On the desert:] The wind was a constant and when you paid attention it seemed like the earth's own breathing.

As you discover what strength you can draw from your community in this world from which it stands apart look outward as well as inward. Build bridges instead of walls.

When you come from a background like mine where you're entering worlds that are so different than your own you have to be afraid.

I do believe that every person has an equal opportunity to be a good and wise judge regardless of their background or life experiences.

Some people choose not to engage the battle and then don't seek out that kind of success. And others do.

It is our responsibility to explain to the public how an often unpredictable system of justice is one that serves a productive civilized but always evolving society.

I think being a Catholic made me a better person. It taught me how to choose good over evil and how to be a more caring human being.

I've never had my dexterity called into question but I think if that was ever the case I could acquit myself by tossing a ball back and forth horizontally between my hands.

I firmly believe in the rule of law as the foundation for all of our basic rights.

I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.

To me lawyering is the height of service - and being involved in this profession is a gift.

The first case I sat on... was Citizens United. Talk about being thrown in. Needless to say if I was scared before I was terrified.

It really takes growing up to treasure the specialness of being different.

My mom loved the book [My beloved world] and she said to me 'I never knew you had done so much.'

The dynamism of any diverse community depends not only on the diversity itself but on promoting a sense of belonging among those who formerly would have been considered and felt themselves outsiders.

I hope in my book [My Beloved World] that the sense that I really feel connected comes through.

I don't believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should do honor to it.

I am growing to love DC.This [Washington] is a beautiful city. I think every citizen should come see their capital. A lot of the museums are free there are restaurants that are reasonably priced.

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.

A career is something that you train for and prepare for and plan on doing for a long time.

It's not the heart that compels conclusions in cases it's the law.

All judges have cases that touch our passions deeply but we all struggle constantly with remaining impartial.

I have had positive experiences with cameras. When I have been asked to join experiments using cameras in the courtroom I have participated; I have volunteered.

You make your life choices understanding that you might and do have to work harder to prove yourself.

People who live in difficult circumstances need to know that happy endings are possible. Page 1.

Same way I have my entire life. Keep my family and friends close. My Latino friends close. I visit the island [Puerto Rico] as often as I humanly can.

If you're poor you don't often live near a good school. If it's a competitive public school program our kids are not prepared to enter those programs.

I have ventured to write more intimately about my personal life than is customary for a member of the Supreme Court and with that candor comes a measure of vulnerability.

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.

A surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence.

... a surplus of effort could overcome a deficit of confidence. Page 115

A role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt saying Yes someone like me can do this.

You can only stay connected if you feel connected.

In the wider context what I believe I was - the point I was making was that our life experiences do permit us to see some facts and understand them more easily than others.

The best I could say about third grade was that it was a more or less continuous state of dread.

Oh my God I don't think you can say anyone looks forward to controversy.

My job as a prosecutor is to do justice. And justice is served when a guilty man is convicted and an innocent man is not.

I am growing to love DC. But the core of Sonia is a New Yorker.

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.

I do think there is a value in the services of judges for long periods of time.

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.

I was aware that my nomination was drawing a lot of attention particularly in the Latino world not just in Puerto Rico. It was touching.

Pretending to be a princess is fun but it is definitely not a career.

If the issue is letting the states experiment and letting the society have more time to figure out its direction why is taking a case now the answer?

Diabetes taught me discipline.

I am eternally grateful to all of the Latino groups outside of the Puerto -Rican community but including the Puerto-Rican community who came to support me during the process [of nomination].

I am a very spiritual person. Maybe not traditionally religious in terms of Sunday Mass every week that sort of thing.

We educated privileged lawyers have a professional and moral duty to represent the underrepresented in our society to ensure that justice exists for all both legal and economic justice.

We have to look and ensure that we're paying attention to what we're doing so that we don't reflexively institute processes and procedures that exclude people without thought.

Until we get equality in education we won't have an equal society.

I think that the day a justice forgets that each decision comes at a cost to someone then I think you start losing your humanity.

The Latina in me is an ember that blazes forever.

I have never ever focused on the negative of things. I always look at the positive.

I had many reasons for writing memoir but among them was the hope that every Latino child and adult would find something familiar in it.

To have a romance you have to have time. I'm a justice. I've written a book. The guy's gonna have to wait until I'm a little bit freer.

Success is its own reward but failure is a great teacher too and not to be feared.

My judicial philosophy is fidelity to the law.

I was fifteen years old when I understood how it is that things break down: people can't imagine someone else's point of view.

I would warn any minority student today against the temptations of self-segregation: take support and comfort from your own group as you can but don't hide within it.

I got a label because I was Hispanic and a woman and [therefore] I had to be liberal.

I've spent my whole life learning how to do things that were hard for me.

I have come to believe that in order to thrive a child must have at least one adult in her life who shows her unconditional love respect and confidence.

I do know one thing about me: I don't measure myself by others' expectations or let others define my worth.

Don't mistake politeness for lack of strength.

I have never had to face anything that could overwhelm the native optimism and stubborn perseverance I was blessed with.

In every position that I've been in there have been naysayers who don't believe I'm qualified or who don't believe I can do the work. And I feel a special responsibility to prove them wrong.

I'm a New Yorker and I jaywalk with the best of them.

I hope that as the Senate and American people learn more about me they will see that I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences.

Sonia lives her life fully. If she dies tomorrow she'll die happy. If she lives the way you want her to live she'll die miserable. So leave her alone okay?

I think there's a large segment of the mainland population that does not really understand the number of territories that are part of the United States.

You can't dream unless you know what the possibilities are.

Without question so many people throughout my life never think of Puerto Rico as part of the United States.

Remember that no one succeeds alone. Never walk alone in your future paths.

Don't be shy about making a teacher of any willing party who knows what he or she is doing.