Justice Sonia Sotomayor – Top Quotes

“You have to fight every day to protect the rights and opportunities of women and minorities.”

“Let me suggest that in any case in which a minority group feels severely aggrieved and desperate enough to turn to violence, society as a whole bears the blame.”

“The freedom of speech…is one of the great bulwarks of liberty, and can never be restrained but by despotic governments.”

“I stand on the shoulders of countless people who came before me, people who fought for equality and justice.”

“Equal justice under the law is not merely a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building; it is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society.”

“The more you know about a particular area of the law, the more potential you have for determining the best decision.”

“To be asked to represent the United States as its first Latina Supreme Court justice is a humbling and historic privilege.”

“Being a justice is one thing, but affecting a generation of lawyers is something else.”

“Our democracy requires active participation, not passive resignation.”

“You can’t value dreams according to the odds of their coming true. You have to believe in them and act on them.”

“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.”

“I have always tried to measure success not by whether I have won, but by whether I have done my best.”

“In every position that I have had since I was 9 years old, I have worked as hard as I could.”

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

“My job as a prosecutor is to do justice. And justice is served when a guilty man is convicted and an innocent man is not.”

“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.”

“I had no need to apologize that the look-wider, search-more affirmative action that Princeton and Yale practiced had opened doors for me. That was its purpose: to create the conditions whereby students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be brought to the starting line of a race many were unaware was even being run.”

“I wouldn’t approach the issue of judging in the way the president does. Judges can’t rely on what’s in their heart. They don’t determine the law. Congress makes the law. The job of a judge is to apply the law.”

“In examining witnesses, I learned to ask general questions so as to elicit details with powerful sensory associations: the colors, the sounds, the smells that lodge an image in the mind and put the listener in the burning house.”

“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.”