May 27thTen Things You Need to Know About Sonia Sotomayor
Our charming people skills (and beer buying and blackmailing) have paid off once again with the addition of yet another special guest contributor: raconteur and Secret Lives of the Supreme Court author Robert Schnakenberg.
BY ROBERT SCHNAKENBERG
By now you know that President Obama has tapped Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Sonia Sotomayor to be his nominee to succeed David Souter as an associate justice on the U.S. Supreme Court. But just who is this Bronx native set to become only the third woman and the first Hispanic to serve on the high court? More importantly, what facts do we know about her that can be hastily assembled into an easily digestible top ten-style list?
Glad I you asked that question…
Yankee fan Sonia Sotomayor
Ten Things You Need to Know About Sonia Sotomayor
1. Her astrological sign is Cancer.
2. Her father only had a third-grade education and her mother worked as a nurse in a methadone clinic. Expect to hear these facts cited ad nauseum as evidence of her “empathy” for the common person.
3. She suffers from juvenile diabetes and began giving herself insulin injections at age 8.
4. As a child, she aspired to be a “girl detective,” a la Nancy Drew.
5. She grew up just a few blocks from Yankee Stadium and is a longtime New York Yankees fan.
6. She was inspired to pursue a legal career after watching an episode of Perry Mason. This should endear her to her new colleague Clarence Thomas, who once defended his reluctance to ask questions at oral arguments before a group of students by declaring of the Supreme Court: “This is not Perry Mason.”
7. Expect to hear a lot of Air Supply emerging from her chambers. Her favorite type of music is “soft rock.”
8. As a district judge, she once ruled in favor of the producers of Seinfeld in a copyright infringement case brought against the publishers of a trivia quiz book about the popular sitcom. “The Seinfeld Aptitude Test seizes upon the notion which lies at the very heart of Seinfeld that there is humor in the mundane, seemingly trivial aspects of everyday life,” Sotomayor wrote in her opinion. “Simply put, without Seinfeld there can be no Seinfeld Aptitude Test.” Authors of unauthorized trivia quiz books have been crying in their beers ever since.
9. If confirmed, Sotomayor will resemble David Souter, the justice she is replacing in one important respect: frugality. According to the Washington Post, Sotomayor, who earns $179,500 per year as a federal judge, owns virtually no assets and keeps less than $15,000 in her checking account.
10. The quote most likely to be rammed down her throat by strict constructionists at her confirmation hearing: “Court of Appeals is where policy is made. And I know, I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don’t make law. [Laughs] I know. I know. [Laughter] I’m not promoting it, I’m not advocating it, I’m…y’know.”