Photo Credit:
Justice Sonia Sotomayor / (Official White House photo by Pete Souza)

US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, herself Catholic, told the students of Brooklyn Law School on Friday she believes “there is a disadvantage from having (five) Catholics, three Jews, everyone from an Ivy League school” on the highest court in the land. Sotomayor graduated from Yale Law School.

The justice did not refer by name to President Obama’s candidate to fill the gap left by the demise of Catholic supreme court justice Antonin Scalia — but it just so happens that Judge Merrick Garland is Jewish.

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She noted that several of the current eight justices are from New York City, like herself, and none of them have practiced criminal defense law except in a white-collar setting.

Judge Merrick Garland was born and raised in Chicago.

According to AP, in an answer to questions about diversity on the court submitted by the students, Sotomayor suggested more varied backgrounds help justices “educate each other to be better listeners and better thinkers because we understand things from experience.”

Sotomayor recalled an argument made by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg back in 2009, when she told her all-male colleagues about the devastating realities of a strip-search of a middle-school girl. The male justices assumed it was a lot like changing for gym class in a locker room, since, obviously, they had “never been a 13-year-old girl.” The majority of the court was convinced by Ginsburg and ruled 8-1 that such a search was unconstitutional.

Sotomayor agreed that, naturally, we expect the court’s decisions to depend on the law and not on the individual justices personal experiences, but, nevertheless, “a different perspective can permit you to more fully understand the arguments that are before you and help you articulate your position in a way that everyone will understand,” the justice said.

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67 COMMENTS

  1. If she has such a big problem with this she could resign and there would be one less Catholic, one less Female and one less Ivy Leaguer. Of course there will still be the same number of justices from New York City. Maybe she wants a Christian like Louis Gohmert on the bench. I wonder if that would satisfy her as the poorly educated, incompetent idiot faction on the court course court? Oh wait that group is already represent by Justice Thomas. What everyone really wants are the best legal minds and the fairest people on the court. With Roberts, Thomas, and Alito still on the court, that is something that is really lacking!

  2. Yes it is what she means clearly and openly …. So that means introduce whose called muslims ( while they are not muslims ) or their supporters to they support DAISH members on trail in the court ….

    SAD SAD SAD …. AND I HOPE THE SUPREM COURT JUDGES AND THE JUSTICE SYSTEM WILL NOT FALL IN THIS DANGER !

    Future biggest Canadian and International lawyer , future judge , Canadian and proud , true muslim real muslim and proud , Zeyneb Mustafa ! 🙂

  3. Carol, I agree with you whole heartedly. Sotomeyer is a Catholic, she graduated from Yale and is a New Yorker, so since she herself said that each one of the above is a strike against the Supreme Court, therefore the only Just thing for her to do is resign, since it is generally accepted that three strikes and you are out.

  4. Say what you will, she has a point. She also misses a bigger point – quota consciousness. There's to be s separation of church and state. Making a religion an issue, confuses the quest for the best man or woman out there. I'd go with Elizabeth Waren in a heartbeat.

  5. Sotomayor insinuates cheaply that a Catholic justice renders Catholic decisions, that a a Jewish justice gives Jewish decisions, and that multiple Catholic or Jewish justices conspire to make said decisions. It smacks of KKK / antisemitic thinking.

  6. Sotomayor is one of the best Judge in the Supreme Court, what happens is that she said the true but people do not like to hear the true, and the only you can say bunch of racists, is tell her to resign instead look things with common sense what the Supreme Court needs is two Christians to balance the highest court in United States

  7. Mark Melnicoff The point is self-evident…Obaaama does not want the Constitution upheld…Unlike Lady Liberty, SCOTUS is not unbiased, fair, nor accept that their job is to enforce the Constitutional Rights set forth by our Founding Fathers….. not make up laws and "rights" as they go along.

  8. I think Sotomeyer is saying that the SCOTUS is just not entertaining enough. Really, how to compete with the presidential race? How about putting in a Russian with a very thick accent; get rid of Clarence due to pathological lack of charm; replace Clarence with Kim K. Now we're talkin entertainment.

  9. This is a non- story. Her comment(s) have no bearing, and has not stirred any controversy over the matter. The fact remains that it's been this way historically; and it's for the arguing barristers[of any case before(them)] to ad perspective,to their disputation before the court. If there is a need for diversity…how about seating a transsexual aboriginal-american who happens to be a practicing Jehovah's witness.

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