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By Hannah Marr, News Editor • June 21, 2024

Sotomayor recounts her story beyond the bench

Sonia Sotomayor, one of President Barack Obama’s picks for the nation’s highest court, spoke about her newest memoir Friday at Lisner Auditorium. Delaney Walsh | Hatchet Photographer

This post was written by Hatchet staff writer Delaney Walsh.

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor treated the audience in Lisner Auditorium Friday night like old friends as she spoke candidly about the life experiences detailed in her new book.

Sotomayor – or “Sonia from the Bronx,” as she asked to be introduced – paced through the aisles of the auditorium as she spoke, pausing to smile and wave between reading excerpts from her book, “My Beloved World,” which was released this week.

The book focuses on her life before her years as a well-respected judge, growing up in the Bronx and living with her Puerto Rican family before going on to study at Princeton and Yale.When she transitioned to Princeton University after growing up in the Bronx, Sotomayor said she noticed a void between her and her classmates that she believed was due to her lack of global experience.But she learned to embrace her background.

“What I have finally figured out…is that I didn’t have to fill in the chasm. And I didn’t have to do it then,” she said. “What they had was very special, and what I had growing up was equally special.”

Sotomayor also touched on topics ranging from her childhood diagnosis with diabetes to her father’s alcoholism.

A driving motivation behind her book, she said, was the desire to reach out on a universal level to “every single person in the world [she wants] to meet” but cannot.As the night came to a close, Sotomayor took questions from the audience.One person asked her when she realized she had accomplished her goal.

“Well I knew [I had reached my goals] when I first became a judge,” Sotomayor said. “I knew I had reached my fantasies when I got to the Supreme Court.”

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