US Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said she is frustrated by the court’s right-wing direction, and some of its decisions leave her “traumatized.” Speaking at the University of California Berkeley School of Law, the Justice said, “Every loss truly traumatizes me in my stomach and my heart,” adding that she gets up every morning knowing she must “keep on fighting.”
According to a CNN report, the dean of the law school noted that many students feel “discouraged” by recent Supreme Court decisions, likely including the decision to overturn Roe v Wade and permit states to ban or severely restrict abortion.
Justice Sotomayor has established herself as a critic of the court and has issued several statements condemning its rulings. For example, when Justices decided in favor of a web designer who refused to work on a gay wedding promotion, Sotomayor publicly stated that the court had assigned a second-class status to lesbians and gay men. She described the ruling as “profoundly wrong.”
The civil rights case rested on the application of the First Amendment to the Constitution, and Justice Neil Gorsuch delivered the opinion, stating that the opportunity to express ourselves is the most cherished freedom citizens enjoy in the United States. Sotomayor argued that conduct, not speech, was in question, adding that the First Amendment does not protect discrimination.
Nevertheless, Justice Sotomayor has repeatedly praised her conservative colleagues. Despite political differences, she has described conservative Justice Clarence Thomas as a good and kind man who cares about people. Her comments caused some consternation among progressives and pro-abortion advocates who largely blame Thomas for the shock Roe v Wade ruling in 2022.
In 2020, Justice Thomas made his feelings clear when he condemned the 1973 Roe ruling and said abortion did not have a “shred” of endorsement from the US Constitution. “Our abortion precedents are grievously wrong and should be overruled,” he wrote.
Thomas prompted further outrage when he suggested the Supreme Court revisit its decision to allow gay marriage.