ST. LOUIS – U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor visited Washington University in St. Louis on Tuesday. Students, faculty, and staff filled the St. Louis Field House to hear the judge weigh in on her path to the highest court in the land. 

Nominated by President Barack Obama in 2009, Sotomayor is the third woman to be nominated to the Supreme Court, but she is the first in so many ways. She is the first woman of color, the first Hispanic, and the first Latina member of the court.

“The reality is that for some people you’re a minority, particularly one from New York,” said Sotomayor. “They believe that affirmative action opened the door for you.  They forget that you don’t judge a person by who opens the door. You judge them by what they did when they went through the door.” 

Sotomayor said she believes in the good of people, even her fellow justices when she disagrees with them. She talked about the Dred Scott case here in Missouri and encouraged those in attendance to read about that case. 

“I truly am engaged with and devoted to inspiring all of you in this audience to understand how important your obligation is to participate in bettering the world,” said Sotomayor. 

She also talked about her upbringing in the Bronx in public housing, telling the audience about her mother and grandmother instilling a sense of hard work and empathy that she carries still to this day.