Losing can “become frustrating”, says liberal judge Sotomayor
WASHINGTON (AP) – Recognizing the limits of her own influence over the law as a member of the Supreme Court’s liberal minority, Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday urged citizens to work to change laws they may disagree with , such as a recent Texas law that limits access to abortions.
Sotomayor, who appeared via Zoom at an American Bar Association event, responded to a question from a law student saying members of the public won’t always like court results.
“There is going to be a lot of deception in the law. Okay, a huge amount as you study the cases and watch the results you disagree with. It can get frustrating. Look at me. Look at my stats, okay? Said Sotomayor, who is now one of three liberal judges on a nine-member tribunal. Sotomayor, a candidate for President Barack Obama who has been on the tribunal since 2009, added that at least she can disagree and “explain how I’m feeling.”
After a summer break, Sotomayor and his colleagues are set to resume hearing arguments in person next week after more than a year and a half of phone sessions due to the coronavirus pandemic. The court already has major cases on its schedule, including those involving guns and abortion, where Sotomayor could be in the minority in any decision.
She told ABA audience members that they have the power to change laws they disagree with.
“Your ability is to go out there and work to change the law. Work to make the things that are important to you work better, be better, ”she said. “So, you know, I can’t change the law in Texas, but you can. You can and anyone who may or may not like it can go out there and lobby to change the laws that you don’t like, ”she said.
Sotomayor has also been asked for his advice on influencing decision-making when his views are in the minority. Perhaps foreshadowing what the role of liberal judges might be this session, she said Judge Elena Kagan, another member of the court’s liberal minority, had a better answer to that question than she did.
“Judge Kagan thinks the best way to influence the majority is to try to reduce their holdings, to try to figure out how to keep the impact of a holding as tight as possible,” Sotomayor said, so that ‘there is a way later to “change the direction of a bad decision.”
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