50 Most Empowering Sonia Sotomayor Quotes

Sonia Maria Sotomayor, born 25th June 1954, is an associate justice of the supreme court in the U.S. Appointed by then-president Barack Obama, she made history by becoming the first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice. Moreover, she is the 3rd woman to be appointed as an associate justice of the supreme court.

Sonia Sotomayor was born in the Bronx, New York City as a daughter of Puerto Rican-born parents. Her father died when she was just 9 years old and her mother had to work hard to support her and her brother. Sonia often says that her mother’s sacrifices made her achieve such incredible professional success.

Justice Sotomayor is admired by many for achieving overwhelming greatness in her career and breaking down barriers for women all over the world and inspiring young girls to keep their heads high and pursue their dreams. The quotes below on Sonia Maria will rejuvenate your inside energy and awaken your fighting spirit to pursue your goals

Sonia Sotomayor Quotes

1. “There are uses to adversity, and they don’t reveal themselves until tested. Whether it’s serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths.”– Sonia Sotomayor

2. “You know, failure hurts. Any kind of failure stings. If you live in the sting, you will – undoubtedly – fail. My way of getting past the sting is to say no, I’m just not going to let this get me down.”– Sonia Sotomayor

3. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

4. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

5. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

6. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

7. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

Sonia Sotomayor in SCOTUS robe

8. “Reaching a conclusion has to start with what the parties are arguing, but examining in all situations carefully the facts as they prove them or not prove them, the record as they create it, and then making a decision that is limited to what the law says on the facts before the judge.”– Sonia Sotomayor

10. “I was a keen observer and listener. I picked up on clues. I figured things out logically, and I enjoyed puzzles. I loved the clear, focused feeling that came when I concentrated on solving a problem and everything else faded out.”– Sonia Sotomayor

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11. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

12. “So many people grew up with challenges, as I did. There weren’t always happy things happening to me or around me. But when you look at the core of goodness within yourself – at the optimism and hope – you realize it comes from the environment you grew up in.”– Sonia Sotomayor

13. “I strive never to forget the real world consequences of my decisions on individuals, businesses and government.”– Sonia Sotomayor

14. “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.– Sonia Sotomayor

15. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court Female Justices O Conner Sotomayor Ginsberg Kagan

16. “I have never had to face anything that could overwhelm the native optimism and stubborn perseverance I was blessed with.”– Sonia Sotomayor

17. “The tatters of old stories are tangled, weathered, muted by long-held silences that succeeded loud feuds, and sometimes no doubt re-dyed a more flattering color.”– Sonia Sotomayor

18. “You can’t be a minority in this society without having someone express disapproval about affirmative action.”– Sonia Sotomayor

19. 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.”–Sonia Sotomayor

20. “An alcoholic father, poverty, my own juvenile diabetes, the limited English my parents spoke – although my mother has become completely bilingual since. All these things intrude on what most people think of as happiness.”– Sonia Sotomayor

21. “I listened very, very carefully to the world around me to pick up the signals of when trouble was coming. Not that I could stop it. But it made me observant. That was helpful when I became a lawyer because I knew how to read people’s signals.”– Sonia Sotomayor

22. “Each time I see a split infinitive, an inconsistent tense structure, or the unnecessary use of the passive voice, I blister.”– Sonia Sotomayor

23. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

Biden Obama and Sotomayor




24. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

25. “Much of the uncertainty of law is not an unfortunate accident: it is of immense social value.”– Sonia Sotomayor

26. “The worst thing you want is a willy-nilly judge who is swayed by the political whims of the era or the time. What you want is a judge who is thinking about what he or she is doing and is thinking about it in a principled way.”– Sonia Sotomayor

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27. “I have spent my years since Princeton, while at law school and in my various professional jobs, not feeling completely a part of the worlds I inhabit. I am always looking over my shoulder wondering if I measure up.”– Sonia Sotomayor

28. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

29. “This wealth of experiences, personal and professional, have helped me appreciate the variety of perspectives that present themselves in every case that I hear.”– Sonia Sotomayor

30. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

31. “It seems obvious now: the child who spends school days in a fog of semi-comprehension has no way to know her problem is not that she is slow-witted.”– Sonia Sotomayor

32. “There are things you may know in your heart for a long while without admitting them to conscious awareness, until, unexpectedly, something triggers an inescapable realization.”– Sonia Sotomayor

33. “Every people has a past, but the dignity of a history comes when a community of scholars devotes itself to chronicling and studying that past.”– Sonia Sotomayor

34. “I accepted what the Sisters taught in religion class: that God is loving, merciful, charitable, forgiving. That message didn’t jibe with adults smacking kids.”– Sonia Sotomayor

35. “I’ve always turned the families of friends into family of my own. The roots of this practice are buried deep in my childhood, in the broad patterns of Puerto Rican culture, in the particular warmth of Abuelita’s embrace.”– Sonia Sotomayor

36. “Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences…our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging.”– Sonia Sotomayor

37. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

38. “Although wisdom is built on life experiences, the mere accumulation of years guarantees nothing.”– Sonia Sotomayor

39. “I have never, ever focused on the negative of things. I always look at the positive.”– Sonia Sotomayor

40. “I am a New Yorker, and 7:00 A.M. is a civilized hour to finish the day, not to start it.”– Sonia Sotomayor

41. “I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with extraordinary opportunities and experiences. Today is one of those experiences.”– Sonia Sotomayor

42. “Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see.”– Sonia Sotomayor

43. “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.”– Sonia Sotomayor

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44. “A career is something that you train for and prepare for and plan on doing for a long time.”– Sonia Sotomayor

45. “Each time I see a split infinitive, an inconsistent tense structure, or the unnecessary use of the passive voice, I blister.”– Sonia Sotomayor

46. “I don’t believe we should bend the Constitution under any circumstance. It says what it says. We should do honor to it.”– Sonia Sotomayor

47. “I have followed my mother’s approach to family, refusing to limit myself to accidents of birth, blood, and marriage.”– Sonia Sotomayor

48. “… a life of perpetual internal compromise that leaves you always feeling torn, neglectful by turns of one or the other.”– Sonia Sotomayor

49. “The President [Barack Obama] had suggested that I not watch the news during the confirmation process. I assiduously followed his advice.”– Sonia Sotomayor

50. “My diabetes is such a central part of my life… it did teach me discipline… it also taught me about moderation… I’ve trained myself to be super-vigilant… because I feel better when I am in control.”– Sonia Sotomayor

Video: Sonia Sotomayor – Associate Justice of the Supreme Court | Mini Bio

If you want to learn more, this video is only a few minutes and a must watch.

Learn about Sonia Sotomayor’s life, from her South Bronx upbringing to her historical appointment to the U.S. Supreme Court, in this mini biography. #Biography

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This collection of Sonia Sotomayor quotes offers a great level of advice and encouraging words of wisdom. Altered by a woman who has achieved such amazing success, the quotes will with no doubt have a great impact on your future endeavors.

If you value education and appreciate justice and equality, with the above quotes you can make the world a better place for everyone. Just have the right mindset and you will spread endless positivity and remember to be the change you want the world to be. Note down your favorite Sonia Sotomayor quotes for frequent recap.

Image Credits:

English: Steve Petteway, photographer for the Supreme Court of the United States., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Steve Petteway source, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

English: Steve Petteway, photographer for the Supreme Court of the United States., Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The White House, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


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