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Justice Sonia Sotomayor at Hill Center: Country Can’t Afford for President to Fail

Justice Sonia Sotomayor made her first post- election comments at Hill Center Novevmber 15, 2016 telling the sold-out audience, “We can’t afford for a president to fail.” Her statement was in response to a question from Bill Press in his final Talk of the Hill program for the year.

Press began the conversation by saying he wanted
to address the “800-pound gorilla in the room” and asked the justice if she was “in any way apprehensive about what happened in this nation last Tuesday.”

Sotomayor, 62, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, said she would answer the question “in a different way.” In addition to acknowledging that a failed president would be bad for the country, she added, “ … and we have to support that which he does which is right and help guide him to those right decisions.

“But we can’t afford to despair,” she said, “and we can’t afford to give up on pursuing the values that we and others have fought so hard to achieve. And so for me, this is a challenge. So I’m going to continue doing what I think is the right thing. That’s the challenge we all have to face.”

Press asked her how the court is working with only eight members. “It’s not an ideal situation,” she answered. “We function better as nine.”

As she often does, Sotomayor got out of her chair and wandered through the audience to answer questions and pose for photographs. The justice, who is often called the “people’s justice,” wrote a frank autobiography in 2014 which was sold after her talk.

The book so inspired one young woman, who identified herself as a security guard at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, that she traveled from New York to meet the justice. She was rewarded with a hug and a photograph.


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