Gavel Grab

Sotomayor's First Term Hardly Typical

UPDATE: Alfred A. Knopf will publish a memoir to be written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, according to a New York Times blog post.

At the close of her first term on the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor has blended in in some ways and stood out in others, a profile in The Washington Post suggests:

“In some ways, Sotomayor’s just-finished first term on the court was like those of many who have come before her: She worked constantly, turned down interview requests and most speaking engagements, wrote unglamorous and largely noncontroversial opinions and was ideologically true to the president who appointed her. She voted with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg more than any other colleague on the court.

“But the court’s first Hispanic member, and only its third woman, has hardly had the typical first-termer’s experience.”

She won a heroine’s welcome in Puerto Rico, the homeland of her parents. The Bronx public housing complex where she grew up was renamed for her. At the White House, she danced to a song composed in her honor.

Justice Sotomayor hasn’t talked publicly much about life on the nation’s highest court, although she said at a commencement address, “The hours can be long, but I have found that the long hours are painless when you are doing what you love.” At another event, she spoke well of her colleagues, saying, “It is the level of respect and affection that surprised me.”

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