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Supreme Court

Justice Sotomayor Tells Law Professors She Felt "Shell Shocked" After Last Supreme Court Term

A brief report on Justice Sonia Sotomayor's remarks to the Assocation of American Law Schools conference.


This week is the annual Association of American Law Schools annual conference. One of the opening events featured remarks by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, moderated by Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the law school at the University of California at Berkeley.

I was not able to attend this session, but here are excerpts from the Reuters report on Justice Sotomayor's remarks.

Liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday told legal educators she felt a "sense of despair" at the direction taken by the U.S. Supreme Court during its previous term, during which its conservative majority overturned the constitutional right to abortion.

Sotomayor, who has dissented in major cases including the abortion decision as the court's 6-3 conservative majority has become increasingly assertive, described herself as "shell-shocked" and "deeply sad" after that term ended in June.

"I did have a sense of despair about the direction my court was going," Sotomayor said, appearing by video feed before hundreds of law professors at the Association of American Law Schools' annual meeting in San Diego. . . .

Sotomayor said she would continue to "tilt at windmills" and write dissents even though the court has moved steadily to the right.

"It's not an option to fall into despair," Sotomayor said. "I have to get up and keep fighting." . . .

"It may take time but I believe we will get back on the right track," Sotomayor added.