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Judge Sonia Sotomayor Esq.

Self Description

May 2010: "was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university's highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office from 1979–1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984–1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush nominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992–1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009."

Third-Party Descriptions

March 2012: "If a problem develops, the brand-name companies are responsible for changing the label, and the generic companies must follow their lead. As a result, the court’s majority ruled, generic companies cannot be held responsible for failing to alert patients to problems with their drug. The dissent, which was written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, argued that generic companies nevertheless have a responsibility to report problems to the F.D.A. and should be held liable for failing to warn patients."

January 2012: 'Justice Sotomayor joined the majority opinion, agreeing that many questions could be left for another day “because the government’s physical intrusion on Jones’s Jeep supplies a narrower basis for decision.”'

November 2011: 'Roberts suggests that a GPS is worrisome because it gives the government a massive of amount of information. Dreeben replies: “So does a pen register, so does a garbage pull. So does looking at everybody's credit card statement for a month.” But the court doesn’t deem those searches. Justice Anthony Kennedy (Salzburg, Berlin, Czechoslovakia, Russia, China, England, Greece, Wales) wonders whether the government can affix a GPS device to your overcoat. Justice Sonia Sotomayor (baseball game, Bronx, Manhattan) tells Dreeben that under his theory of the case, “You could monitor and track every person through their cellphone, because today the smartphones emit signals that police can pick up and use to follow someone anywhere they go. … They have no reasonable expectation that their possessions will not be used by you … to track them, to invade their sense of integrity in their choices about who they want to see or use their things!”'

June 2011: 'This month, the Supreme Court ruled that police, when questioning a child suspected of committing a crime, must take the suspect’s age into account and may have to provide Miranda warnings in circumstances that would not require the warnings to be given to an adult suspect. The vote was 5 to 4, and the author of the majority opinion was Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The premise that children are different from adults and may feel coercive pressure when an adult would not, she said, was simply one of “commonsense reality.”'

June 2011: 'In dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor countered, "These divergent liability rules threaten to reduce consumer demand for generics... Nothing in the court's opinion convinces me that, in enacting the requirement that generic labels match their corresponding brand-name labels, Congress intended these results." Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, and Elena Kagan supported Sotomayor.'

January 2011: "Justice Sonia Sotomayor seemed both intrigued by Justice Scalia’s proposal and uncertain about whether it represented a principled way to resolve the two consolidated cases, General Dynamics v. United States, No. 09-1298, and the Boeing Company v. United States, No. 09-1302. (Boeing has merged with and is the corporate successor to McDonnell Douglas.)"

June 2010: 'Three justices dissented from this part of the majority opinion. Justice Sotomayor, a former trial judge, writing for herself and Justices Stevens and Breyer, said Mr. Skilling’s fair-trial rights had been violated by the way the jury was selected given “the mountainous evidence of public hostility.”'

June 2009: "The 5-to-4 ruling, which reversed an appeals court decision joined by Judge Sonia Sotomayor, now a Supreme Court nominee, will have broad impact, lawyers specializing in employment discrimination law said."

June 2009: "In January, Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, as part of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, was part of a majority that ruled against invoking the Second Amendment in a challenge to New York's ban on nunchaku sticks, a martial arts weapon. The ban stands."

May 2009: "By contrast, one person near the top of Mr. Obama’s short list — Judge Sonia Sotomayor of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit — has never worked in the federal executive branch and sits on a court that hears few executive power cases."


RoleNameTypeLast Updated
Student/Trainee (past or present) Princeton University Organization May 18, 2010
Member of (past or present) US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) Organization May 18, 2010
Student/Trainee (past or present) Yale University Organization May 18, 2010
Appointed/Selected by President George Herbert Walker Bush Person May 18, 2010
Appointed/Selected by Pres. Barack Hussein Obama Esq. Person May 18, 2010

Articles and Resources

Date Resource Read it at:
Jun 26, 2013 Supreme Court Bolsters Gay Marriage With Two Major Rulings

QUOTE: In a pair of major victories for the gay rights movement, the Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that married same-sex couples were entitled to federal benefits and, by declining to decide a case from California, effectively allowed same-sex marriages there. The rulings leave in place laws banning same-sex marriage around the nation, and the court declined to say whether there was a constitutional right to such unions.

New York Times
Jun 25, 2013 Supreme Court Invalidates Key Part of Voting Rights Act

QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Tuesday effectively struck down the heart of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by a 5-to-4 vote, freeing nine states, mostly in the South, to change their election laws without advance federal approval. The court divided along ideological lines, and the two sides drew sharply different lessons from the history of the civil rights movement and the nation’s progress in rooting out racial discrimination in voting. At the core of the disagreement was whether racial minorities continued to face barriers to voting in states with a history of discrimination.

New York Times
Dec 27, 2012 Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare

QUOTE: Craft store giant Hobby Lobby... opposes providing some contraceptives to employees through its company health care plan on religious grounds, saying some contraceptive products, like the morning after pill, equate to abortion. Hobby Lobby and affiliate Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain, sued the federal government for violating their owners' religious freedom and ability to freely exercise their religion.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Mar 20, 2012 Generic Drugs Proving Resistant to Damage Suits

QUOTE: Across the country, dozens of lawsuits against generic pharmaceutical companies are being dismissed because of a Supreme Court decision last year that said the companies did not have control over what their labels said and therefore could not be sued for failing to alert patients about the risks of taking their drugs. Now, what once seemed like a trivial detail — whether to take a generic or brand-name drug — has become the deciding factor in whether a patient can seek legal recourse from a drug company.

New York Times
Jan 23, 2012 Justices Say GPS Tracker Violated Privacy Rights

QUOTE: The Supreme Court on Monday ruled unanimously that the police violated the Constitution when they placed a Global Positioning System tracking device on a suspect’s car and monitored its movements for 28 days. A set of overlapping opinions in the case collectively suggested that a majority of the justices are prepared to apply broad privacy principles to bring the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches into the digital age...

New York Times
Nov 08, 2011 Which Way Privacy? The Supreme Court asks whether the government can put a GPS device on your car without a warrant.

QUOTE: The warrant expired after 10 days, but the police nevertheless used the GPS to monitor everywhere he drove, every 10 seconds, for 28 days....Jones tried to have his conviction set aside, arguing that warrantless GPS surveillance violated his Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable government searches and seizures. The government replied that GPS tracking is no different from police observing activity in public spaces and roadways, which is not protected under the Constitution.

Jun 29, 2011 Common Sense and Sensibility

QUOTE: the Supreme Court ruled that police, when questioning a child suspected of committing a crime, must take the suspect’s age into account and may have to provide Miranda warnings in circumstances that would not require the warnings to be given to an adult suspect. The vote was 5 to 4, and the author of the majority opinion was Justice Sonia Sotomayor. The premise that children are different from adults and may feel coercive pressure when an adult would not, she said, was simply one of “commonsense reality.”

New York Times
Jun 23, 2011 High Court sides with generic drug makers in narrow ruling

QUOTE: The justices in a 5-4 ruling said generic drug companies do not share the same level of responsibility as makers of brand-name equivalents, to update their warning labels when significant new risks emerge.

CNN (Cable News Network)
Jan 18, 2011 In Knotty State Secrets Case, Justices Ponder Telling Litigants to ‘Go Away’

QUOTE: The contractors sued, asking to keep the money and seeking $1.2 billion more. They said their work had been frustrated by the government’s failure to share classified technology. The government disputed that, but would not explain why, invoking the state secrets privilege.

New York Times
Dec 08, 2010 LAWA Land: The Supreme Court hears about Arizona's other controversial immigration law.

QUOTE: The Supreme Court busies itself today with that law's Mini-Me, the 2007 Legal Arizona Workers Act, which goes much further than federal immigration law in sanctioning state employers who hire illegal workers. Both today's case and the one the court will inevitably hear about SB 1070 test the same general proposition: Does federal immigration law pre-empt—or preclude—the states from passing their own, tougher immigration laws?

Jun 28, 2010 Justices Rule Against Group That Excludes Gay Students

QUOTE: A public law school did not violate the First Amendment by withdrawing recognition from a Christian student group that excluded gay students, the Supreme Court ruled...

New York Times
Jun 24, 2010 Justices Limit Use of ‘Honest Services’ Law Against Fraud

QUOTE: The justices were unanimous in calling a broad interpretation of the law, which makes it a crime “to deprive another of the intangible right of honest services,” unconstitutionally vague.

New York Times
May 18, 2010 Supreme Court restricts life without parole for juveniles

QUOTE: Juveniles may not be sentenced to life in prison without parole for any crime short of homicide, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday, expanding its command that young offenders must be treated differently from adults even for heinous crimes.

Washington Post
Dec 09, 2009 Supreme Court dismisses challenge to Illinois forfeiture law: The Supreme Court dismissed a case pitting innocent property owners against Chicago police and prosecutors who held seized autos and other property for years

QUOTE: The US Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a victory to the Cook County State's Attorney and the Chicago Police Department when the justices unanimously dismissed as moot a challenge to Illinois' controversial forfeiture law.

Christian Science Monitor
Sep 28, 2009 Supreme Court to consider juvenile 'lifers:' Does life without parole for minors who didn't kill constitute cruel and unusual punishment?

QUOTE: At issue [in a future Supreme Court case] is whether it is cruel and unusual punishment to imprison a minor until he or she dies when the crime does not involve murder.

Los Angeles Times
Jun 29, 2009 Supreme Court Finds Bias Against White Firefighters

QUOTE: The Supreme Court ruled on Monday that white firefighters in New Haven were subjected to race discrimination when the city threw out a promotional examination on which they had done well and black firefighters poorly....The new standards announced by the court will make it much harder for employers to discard the results of hiring and promotion tests once they are administered, even if they have a disproportionately negative impact on members of a given racial group.

New York Times
Jun 20, 2009 Cities' gun restrictions begin to topple: After big D.C. case in '08, San Francisco and Philadelphia have seen setbacks for local gun controls. More laws are expected to come under fire.

QUOTE: Since last June, when the US Supreme Court struck down key parts of the District of Columbia's gun-control ordinance, cities have seen the 20,000 local gun regulations enacted over the years begin to slip from their grip, one by one.

Christian Science Monitor
May 24, 2009 New Justice Could Hold the Key to Presidential Power

QUOTE: “We’re losing one of the court’s strongest leaders on the side of limiting executive power to reasonable bounds. If the person who replaces Souter is different than him, the balance of power may shift.”

New York Times