Sonia Sotomayor is an American Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States who is well recognized for being the first Hispanic and Latina member of the Court. Raised by her widow mother in The Bronx for years, Sonia has managed to come a long way up becoming one of the prominent figures in the field of politics.
She has been nominated by several former presidents including President Bill Clinton, President Barack Obama, and President George H. W. Bush. Her role on the boards of directors for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund, the State of New York Mortgage Agency, and the New York City Campaign Finance Board have been praised in US law history.
During her tenure on the Supreme Court, Sotomayor was identified and well-praised for her concern towards the rights of defendants, calls for reform of the criminal justice system, and speaking aloud on issues of race, gender, and ethnic identity. She also worked as an adjunct professor at New York University School of Law from 1998 to 2007.
What is Sonia Sotomayor Famous for?
- Famous as Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
Where is Sonia Sotomayor From?
Sonia Sotomayor was born on June 25, 1954, in New York City, United States. Her birth name is Sonia Maria Sotomayor. Her nationality is American. Sotomayor belongs to Puerto-Rican ethnicity while Cancer is her zodiac sign.
Sonia Sotomayor was born as the eldest child to her parents; Juan Sotomayor(father) and Celina Baez(mother). Her father, Juan worked as a tool and die, worker, as he had a third-grade education while her mother, Celina worked as a telephone operator and then a practical nurse(during World War II).
Sonia was raised in Puerto Rican communities in the South Bronx and East Bronx along with her younger brother, Juan Sotomayor, who later became a physician and university professor. Her alcoholic father however died at age of 42 due to heart problems when she was just 9 years old after then she and her brother were solely raised by their mother.
Sotomayor attended Blessed Sacrament School in Soundview, during the time she even worked at a local retail store and a hospital. She then joined the Cardinal Spellman High School in the Bronx where she was elected to the student government.
In 1972, she graduated as a valedictorian after which she earned a full scholarship to attend Princeton University. After 4 years long course, she finally graduated summa cum laude from the University in 1976. She then subsequently received her Juris Doctor from Yale Law School in 1979, where she was also an editor at the Yale Law Journal.
Soon she was hired out of law school as an assistant district attorney under New York County District Attorney Robert Morgenthau in 1979.
Sonia Sotomayor’s Career Highlights
- Sonia Sotomayor started her career initially working as an assistant district attorney in New York for four and a half years.
- In 1984, she entered private practice, joining the commercial litigation practice group of Pavia & Harcourt in Manhattan as an associate again.
- She was then appointed to the board of the State of New York Mortgage Agency(1987-1992) and also as one of the founding members of the New York City Campaign Finance Board, where she served for four years from 1988.
- For 12 years, starting from 1980 to 1992, she was a member of the board of directors of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund.
- She served on the board of the Maternity Center Association from 1985 till 1986.
- In 1991, she was nominated by then-President George H. W. Bush to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. With the position, she became the youngest and first Hispanic judge in the Southern District.
- In 1997, she was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. However, her nomination was slowed by the Republican majority in the United States Senate, but she was eventually confirmed in 1998.
- On the Second Circuit over 10 years of her tenure, Sotomayor heard appeals in more than 3,000 cases and wrote about 380 opinions.
- In October 2001, she presented the annual Judge Mario G. Olmos Memorial Lecture at UC Berkeley School of Law titled “A Latina Judge’s Voice”.
- In 2008, Sotomayor was on a three-judge panel in Doninger v. Niehoff and also a part of the three-judge Second Circuit panel Maloney v. Cuomo.
- In May 2009, President Barack Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court, which she won with a vote of 68-31.
- While on the court, Sotomayor has always supported the informal liberal bloc of justices when it comes to division along the commonly perceived ideological lines.
- She has worked hard on every case or landmark she is subjected to including; Schuette v. BAMN, Utah v. Strieff, and Trump v. Hawaii.
- On December 31, 2013, she inaugurated the 60-second countdown at the Times Square New Year’s Eve ball drop, being the first United States Supreme Court justice to perform such events.
- In January 2021, Sonia was announced to swear Kamala Harris in as the Vice President of the United States; marking her the first woman and the first Black person to be in the position of US.
Awards and Honors
- Honorary law degrees from 12 universities.
- Received the Outstanding Latino Professional Award
- Received Woodrow Wilson Award
- Received the Katharine Hepburn medal
- Inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame
Sonia Sotomayor’s Husband
Sonia Sotomayor has been married just once to date. The only marriage of Sonia was with her high-school lover, Kevin Edward Noonan. They got married just after graduating from Princeton University on August 14, 1976, in a small chapel at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York. They both were too young to get married because of which their marriage just lasted for 7 years till 1983. They had no children at all.
Back at the time, she even used the married name “Sonia Sotomayor de Noonan”. Currently, Kevin works as a biologist and a patent lawyer.
After almost 14 years of her divorce, she got engaged to New York construction contractor Peter White in 1997, but their relationship also didn’t last long as it ended by 2000.
Sonia Sotomayor’s Net Worth
Sonia Sotomayor has quite good earnings from her profession as the Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Having her career started in the late 1970s initially as an assistant district attorney in New York, Sonia has managed to become one of the influential women and prominent figures in the political history of the US.
Her source of income is surely her job in the government which adds up to a net worth of around $8 million with her salary ranging up to $600k. Besides, her memoir titled “My Beloved World” was released in 2013.
Sonia Sotomayor’s Height
Sonia Sotomayor is a beautiful woman with an average body physique in her 60s. She stands tall with a height of 5ft. 6inches. and weighs around 75kg. She has a brown complexion with black hair and a pair of brown eyes.
Besides, she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven, for which she even had started taking daily insulin injections.