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Sonia Sotomayor Nearly Opted Out of Supreme Court Bid

By    |   Monday, 02 February 2015 08:56 PM

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Monday that she found her confirmation process so "unsavory" she considered not vying for a seat on the nation’s highest court.

Her trepidation apparently began during the Obama administration’s review of her judicial record, and prior to actual questioning by Senate Republicans.

Speaking Monday before a packed crowd at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Fla., the 60-year-old justice confessed: "I had some grave doubts about whether I should agree to be reviewed by the president’s team. The idea of subjecting myself to the process was both so frightening and unsavory."

She did not specify why she found the process so unappealing, although political partisanship on Capitol Hill presumably was a factor.

President Obama gave her advice on how to handle the scrutiny, she recalled: "The president, as I was leaving our interview when he first met me, said to me, 'Judge, from this moment forward, please tell your friends not to tell you what the news is talking about. The press is a distorted mirror, whether it’s for you or against you. And they rarely understand how they’re impacting the individuals they are talking about.'"

Sotomayor, a member of the Court’s liberal voting bloc, said she instructed her staff to cut and paste daily news she would read, to censor out any commentary involving her.

"That’s how I kept up with the world," she said.

Asked if she believes capable public servants are being lost in the constitutionally mandated vetting process, she replied: "Yes, I think there are judges and people applying for government offices who are good people and who do great work who don’t say yes because of the burdens."

Added Sotomayor: "It’s an enormous burden that we are putting on our public servants when we’re looking at things that sometimes really don’t matter."

The Justice’s remarks came during a sold-out gathering of The Forum Club of the Palm Beaches and the Palm Beach County Bar Association.

Sotomayor, an Obama appointment who joined the High Court in August 2009, is promoting her best-selling book "My Beloved World."

Sotomayor also revealed she has grown skeptical of the suggestion that allowing television coverage of Supreme Court proceedings would be a good idea. She said the "temptation to grandstand" to a TV audience would be "huge."

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Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor said Monday that she found her confirmation process so unsavory she considered not vying for a seat on the nation's highest court.
Sonia Sotomayor, nearly, opted out, Supreme Court, Bid, press, Obama
Monday, 02 February 2015 08:56 PM
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