Orna Seddiq, Insider, October 14, 2021
Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday discussed how the nine Supreme Court justices are “greatly missing” diverse legal experiences.
“When Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed, we lost our only civil rights lawyer,” Sotomayor said during a virtual event for the fifth anniversary of the New York University School of Law’s Center for Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging.
Nobody on the bench has “been in the trenches on civil rights issues, whether it’s on women’s rights, racial rights, or even disability rights,” she continued, adding that the justices also don’t have backgrounds in immigration, environmental or criminal defense law either, besides some “white-collar work.”
“I do worry that the authorities who are selecting judges are not paying enough attention to that kind of diversity as well,” she added. “That kind of diversity – diversity in experience – is something that I think we are sorely missing.”
Sotomayor on Wednesday spoke about the struggles that people of color face in society and about her role as the first woman of color and the first Latina on the court.
“If you are a person of color, you have to work harder than everybody else to succeed,” she said. “It’s just the point of life. It’s the nature of – the competitive nature of our society – where you have to prove yourself every day.”