Sotomayor says she has been driven to tears by some Supreme Court decisions

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor told a crowd at Harvard University on Friday that she cries after some of the majority-conservative court’s decisions. 

She’s one of three justices considered left-leaning on the court, which features six other justices considered right-leaning. Chief Justice John Roberts is thought to be the most centrist of the group.

“There are days that I’ve come to my office after an announcement of a case and closed my door and cried,” Sotomayor said.

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

Her comments come just as conservative justices threw out a ruling that declared a congressional district in South Carolina was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander.

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


The court grew more conservative with Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s appointment in 2020, but President Joe Biden added a left-leaning member with Kentanji Brown-Jackson in 2022 after Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement.

Former President Barack Obama appointed Sotomayor in 2009 after former Justice David Souter retired. With her appointment, she became the third woman and first Hispanic to join the Supreme Court.

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