(WASHINGTON) — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor says that one of the most significant moments of her life will take place this week during President Obama’s second inauguration.
Sotomayor, born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents, said in an interview with ABC News/Univision’s Jorge Ramos that her role administering the oath of office to Biden is “enormously important” to her, almost as much as being named to the high court.
“It will be one among many, but a second very important improbable event happening in my life,” she said. “As a child I never imagined being a Supreme Court justice. I never imagined swearing in a vice president either. It’s going to feel a little surreal.”
Sotomayor became the first Hispanic person to serve on the Supreme Court in 2009. And this month she was selected to be the first Hispanic person to administer an inaugural oath of office.
The justice has recently opened up about her past with the release of her new memoir My Beloved Life. In it, she tells the journey of growing up poor in the Bronx to attending Princeton University and Yale Law School and credits affirmative action policies changed the course of her life.
But while she recognizes the value of having more women and minorities in positions of power, she told Ramos that more women on the bench would not necessarily change how the court decides controversial cases on issues like abortion and gun rights.
“You know, you can’t ever tell because that is generalizing or stereotyping believing that every women is going to vote the same way in every case or that every women feels the same about societal issues,” she said. “We are all different whether we are women or men, and so I think our decisions are going to be made on our views of what the law says they should be, not our views but what our vote should be.”
Sotomayor has declined to comment on an upcoming case that challenges affirmative action policies at the University of Texas and likewise, she refused to detail her views on gun laws as President Obama and Congress begin to consider new gun-control measures in the wake of the Newtown, Conn. shooting.
“Those are the questions the court is going to look at; and for me to give a personal opinion is going to suggest to the public that I have made up my mind. I haven’t,” she said. “I have to see what the law is, I have to read what the parties argue about the law, I have to study the history and then I decide.”
At the end of the interview, Justice Sotomayor agreed to show Jorge Ramos her salsa dancing skills. Not only can the news anchor ask tough questions, but he’s the only one who could ask a Supreme Court Justice to dance on national television.
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