Living Out Loud: Sonia Sotomayor

There are billions of ways to live your life “out loud”. This isn’t a literal thing for me. Not every woman is Janet, nor Rita, putting themselves on the stage under a spotlight, being bold. For others, “out loud” is defying odds, standing in one’s truth, and braving minority status in institutions of higher learning and systems to become a Supreme Court Justice.

Today, Brown Girls celebrates Sonia Sotomayor for living out loud and blazing a trail in her wake. She makes me so proud as a woman of color and as a puertorriqueña. She is someone I point my kids towards and say, “Look at what we can do when we push ourselves beyond the stereotypes and limitations of a society, hell bent on limiting this exact type of success.”

Nominated by President Barack Obama on May 26, 2009, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina Supreme Court Justice in U.S. history. – Biography

Born in The (boogeydown) Bronx, Justice Sotomayor, was the eldest daughter of Juan and Celina Baez Sotomayor, Puerto Rican born, New York City transplants. Her story is familiar to millions of Island trasnplants everywhere. Modest life in an urban space for a woman of color means life can go any which way but for Sonia….

  • She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton in 1976.
  • She was awarded the Pyne Prize – the highest academic award given to Princeton undergraduates.
  • She then entered Yale Law School and became the editor for the Yale Law Journal.
  • She received her J.D. in 1979 and passed the bar in 1980

Sonia is an amazingly accomplished woman. As a Supreme Court Justice she has:

  • Upheld a critical component of the 2010 Affordable Care Act in King v. Burwell
  • Ruled in favor of same sex marriage, helping to make it legal in all 50 states
  • Wrote a scathing dissent in the case of Utah v. Edward Joseph Strieff, Jr.

“By legitimizing the conduct that produces this double consciousness, this case tells everyone, white and black, guilty and innocent, that an officer can verify your legal status at any time. It says that your body is subject to invasion while courts excuse the violation of your rights. It implies that you are not a citizen of a democracy but the subject of a carceral state, just waiting to be cataloged.”  – Sonia Sotomayor

She is a solid and sensible figure in a destructive system and it is my belief that when it is said and done, she will be on the right side of history. For all this and so much more we honor her as a Brown Girl Living Out Loud!


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