“At one point, I actually thought of pulling out and writing a note to the president saying I don’t want any more of this.”
It’s fairly rare for Justice Sonia Sotomayor to do televised interviews. But she made the exception for her friend Gloria Estefan and appeared on her Facebook show “Red Table Talk: The Estefans.” The two powerhouses covered a lot during the 30-minute interview.
Sotomayor talked about her trailblazing career, how it almost ended before it began, and what it’s like being a justice on the highest court in the country. She also got very personal about her childhood.
“My dad was an alcoholic, and so my memories of my dad are not all good ones,” Justice Sotomayor said. Her father died of heart-related complications when she was just 9 years old. “There are some very good [memories] that I treasure, like going to a grocery store and shopping for food because it was the one really positive memory I had of my father. That was the one time where I saw my father without him having been drunk essentially.”
Sotomayor also opened up about what it’s like being the only Latina on the US Supreme Court and how she almost dropped out during the hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Justice Sotomayor said she felt defeated and wanted to quit when critics said she wasn’t smart enough to be on the Supreme Court and that she wouldn’t make meaningful contributions.
“Those criticisms stung,” she said. “They hurt deeply, and at one point, I actually thought of pulling out and writing a note to the president saying I don’t want any more of this.”
She changed her mind when she realized her role on the court would be historic and inspire countless Latinas worldwide.
“The one person I confided in said to me, ‘Sonia get over yourself. This is not about you. This is about my daughter. She needs to see a Latina as a Supreme Court Justice. You can’t give up,'” she said. “That made me realize that yes, it wasn’t about me.”
One of the most tender moments of the interview came when Sotomayor discussed her divorce and her dating life. She confessed she’s recently gotten marriage proposals.
“I’ve had some fans write to me, some gentleman with more age than mine, write to me and propose marriage,” she said.
So what did she tell him?
“I answer every letter I receive,” the justice said. “I said [to him] how thrilled and touched I was but that the busyness of my life and such is that meeting them was going to be very difficult.”
Click here to watch the entire interview.