Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Supreme Court stressed the importance of building relationships on empathy rather than derision, even if disagreeing with another person, the Tennessean reported.
Speaking during a question-and-answer session at Vanderbilt University on Tuesday, Sotomayor cited as an example her strong bond with fellow Justice Clarence Thomas, the colleague she disagrees with the most on the bench.
"He knows the name of every single employee in the building," Sotomayor said. "I can stand here and say I just love the man as a person. He has the same value towards human beings as I have, despite our differences," Vanderbilt University reported.
She also spoke of the deep sense of responsibility all her Supreme Court colleagues have for the impact their decisions make.
"All nine of us are equally passionate about the Constitution and the law," she said. "With every case in which we rule, there's a winner and a loser. I bear that in mind with every decision. … There's never a question of doing the least harm. It's almost inevitable we will cause harm to someone."
She also emphasized that she often found herself in the minority, and that it was in her dissents that her personality shone through the most, according to the Tennessean
"If you want to hear who Sonia Sotomayor is, read my dissents," she said, adding that she sometimes writes them to try to persuade her fellow justices, or Congress, to take action on a divisive issue.
When asked what her wish is for the future of the court, Sotomayor said "I hope they will take up every issue I dissented on and change their evil ways," adding that she was only partially joking.
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