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Justice Sotomayor on the Reality of Being a Liberal in a Conservative Court: 'I Live in Frustration'

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Conservative logic can make liberals weep — perhaps literally.

Just ask Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who on Friday told a Harvard University audience that life can be very hard now that conservatives form a majority on the court.

“There are days that I’ve come to my office after an announcement of a case and closed my door and cried,” Sotomayor Friday said while at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, to scoop up an award, according to CNN.

“There have been those days. And there are likely to be more,” she said.

Sotomayor did not address specifics, but as the end of the court term approaches, so will major cases that deal with abortion and former President Donald Trump’s claim that presidential immunity should shield him from criminal cases brought by President Joe Biden’s Justice Department.

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“There are moments when I’m deeply, deeply sad,” she said Friday.

“And there are moments when, yes, even I feel desperation. We all do. But you have to own it. You have to accept it. You have to shed the tears, and then you have to wipe them and get up and fight some more,” she said.

In January, Sotomayor made similar comments about being part of a wing of the court that usually loses.

“I live in frustration. And as you heard, every loss truly traumatizes me in my stomach and in my heart. But I have to get up the next morning and keep on fighting,” Sotomayor said at an event at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, according to CNN.

Do you have any sympathy for Justice Sotomayor?

In February, when speaking to a more mainstream audience at the National Governors Association, Sotomayor tried to put a less dispirited face on life at the court, according to Politico.

“When we disagree, our pens are sharp, but on a personal level, we never translate that into our relationship with one another,” Sotomayor declared.

Justice Amy Coney Barrett, a member of the conservative majority who spoke to the group with Sotomayor, agreed.

“Justice Sotomayor showed up in my office with Halloween candy for my kids because it was right around Halloween time for my husband to take back to Indiana with him on that weekend,” Barrett said.

“Collegiality isn’t going to make you change your principles … but there’s a way to have disagreement and to meet each other where it is possible to meet,” she said.

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But in 2022, Justice Clarence Thomas said the court’s climate was not what is was in 1991 when he joined the Supreme Court.

“This is not the court of that era,” Thomas said. “I sat with Ruth Ginsburg for almost 30 years, and she was actually an easy colleague to deal with. … We may have been a dysfunctional family, but we were a family.”


This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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