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tv   Interview with Justice Sonia Sotomayor The Beloved World Of Sonia...  CSPAN  December 26, 2018 8:52pm-9:18pm EST

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. >> beautiful. thank you so much. thank you so much. thank you so much. [applause] [cheers and applause] thank you miami book festival. if you wait in line i will sign your book. i will not leave until everybody gets their book signed. [applause] . >> talking about the beloved world of sonia sotomayor the young adult book autobiography
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the best-selling autobiography from a couple years ago and this is a question from zoe who goes to school in hampton virginia at bethel high school how did books open the world to you? . >> i had written extensively about that but it may be called to young it's called turning pages you see me walking up the supreme court steps and in my hand is a little key and i tell people remember that is the key to my success in the book explains that key is the books opening the world to me.
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we live in our neighborhood we know our family and friends and teachers and classmates and their families. but the world is a very big place one person among billions of people and the only way i can access that big world that books let me see possibilities or how many opportunities there were. so they were and still are the key to my success. because through books we can find out not just who we are but to imagine the place we can inhabit in this world.
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. >> you talk about your neighborhood library? . >> as you know, when people learn through my book fourth grade in school was very sad because my dad died. he was ill for a very long time and when he passed away there was a great deal of sadness in my home. i was fortunate enough at the time to go to the local library it's no longer true now but it was on the same floor as me sees the department store. my mom and i were there at macy's one afternoon and i saw a direction sign that said public library pointing i looked at mom and said we need to go look at that. so she took me in through the
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doors and that was a new world for me i have never seen so many books in one place in my entire life. my mom had a small couple of shelves but this was shelf after shelf and row after row of books and i just wandered around with my eyes wide open trying to imagine what it was like to be able to read all those books. i tried but there were too many. but the point really was that i found a safe haven that it became my place where i could escape from the sadness in my home and find a way to imagine myself somewhere else. when i'm sad i pick up a book and i start reading if it's serious it makes me think about something else if it's a
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book about information i start taking pictures that the words are creating for me. so books can be all of those things as a place to escape or a place of adventure or a laboratory there are so many things that books can do for you. but for me that library t7 skyline middle college from california several questions along this line, what is one thing your mouse on --dash most proud of being on the supreme court? . >> no one has ever asked me that question what are my most proud of?
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i think i'm most proud of was reflected the day i was sworn into the supreme court in my public ceremony i was in the courthouse, in the courtroom which is quite beautiful and i was sitting facing and they call you up to be sworn in and to sit in the seat of john marshall who is one of the most influential justices of the supreme court. as i was sitting there i was looking at my mom and my entire family and most of my lifelong friends. they had come from around the world literally. my family had come from puerto rico. and in that moment i realized no matter how successful you
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are it's only meaningful if your family and friends come with yo you. if they share their life with you then that is success. a lot of people work very very hard and were very successful that the they break away from those who started with them. and by those how they walk with you. i hope i have left very few people t7 i know your mother is down here with you in miami. >> she is. she's trying to stay cool. it is so hot out here t7 another question from a student from steamboat springs colorado, who supported and
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inspired your interest in the law? . >> . . . . general counsel and taught at the wall school. he's been my mentor ever since.
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the most telling moment is when i joined the second circuit court of appeals. one day he said that the strangest moment for him is when his students became his colleagues. >> host: you were a plaintiff to thaappointed tothat position. bush. people sometimes forget that. >> guest: it is unusual for a justice to have served on the other two courts. there's only three justices in the history of the united states who served on all three levels, and it seems to happen about every 100 years, so the last one was almost 100 years ago. >> host: irvine california.
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>> guest: you have kids from all over the country. >> host: we are really pleased at the responswith the responset from them. but oliver would like to know do you and the other justices ever hang out outside of the courtroom? >> guest: that's because we hear every case together. we are in the courtroom listening to every case that we decide, and after we have oral arguments, we have lunch together and every friday we had a conference. we also have lots and lots of dinners together because there's only -- that airplane above us
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-- there is a plane overhead so i can't even hear myself. we have a lot of dinners together because there is a lot of formal events. if you are asking if we socialize outside of the courthouse, none of the group generally has an event where we all go so as we may have seen on tv when a justice has a celebration at the white house, most of us will go because of his new colleagues joining the court. we listen to music together and have dinner at each other's houses. we are actually very friendly to each other. even though we disagree a lot. we are the one institution in government the kids should know.
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we still like each other even though we don't have the same opinion, because we know that few can agree. you can differ on what you think as long as you have an open mind to talk about the differences you can still be friends. >> host: one of the rumors in washington is you know how to host a nice dinner party. is there truth to that? >> guest: for me having dinner and hosting friends and they enjoy themselves and laugh a lot it's very important. >> host: this is something you discuss in your book and this is a question from stamford university in palo alto california given that n-november
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is diabetes awareness month, can you discuss how diabetes has played a role in your career development and how those living with disabilities can also manage to reach the highest levels? it is realizing how precious life is. when you have a disability or a chronic condition, you appreciate every minute that you have in life. you know you have to take advantage of every moment that you are permitted to enjoy yourself. they taught me how to take care of myself and how to stay healthy.
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it taught me every day i had to bring out as much as i could. so i studied very hard, i did a lot of afterschool activities. friday and saturday night i partied a lot and saturday and sunday during the time i worked because my family was poor and we needed to earn a little bit of extra money, i still to this day do the same thing. i enjoy every second of my life because my condition has polic e that it's valuable. for those of us that phase chronic challenges, we should have pride in our courage and ability to take care of ourselves an in our ability to accept help when we need it
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because there's a lot of people that don't realize how important it is and so for me it was a blessing and its taught me something that a lot of other people waste a lot of time not appreciating. >> host: we noticed at the national book festival when you were doing your presentation, you caught us off the stage and i presume you will do that a little bit later. >> guest: if i didn't have to be here i would be. at my very first book event in washington, d.c. it was a huge hall with over a thousand people and i was up on this stage.
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walking back and forth on the stage they spent all this time waiting to come visit me and i should visit them. a. it was so much more personal and so much more a connection between me and the audience. i continue to do that and it's been wonderful. particularly now because this is a children's book.
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it's the best part of the book tour. >> host: hampton virginia does growing up in the bronx have any harpart in your identity and position? >> guest: it is the site and the snow. when i was growing up my grandmother lived in an apartment building on a floor that faced a running elevator train. they used to pacify every ten or 15 minutes. the first day i thought to myself how can she sleep and how can you ignore the loud noise of
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the train and over time i learned it just becomes background noise and i used to play in her apartment and i would look out at the passing train. those have been marked in my mind and sure your identity is formed by the place you live. mine was a hard neighborhood. was very crime-ridden and our family was very poor. they worked very hard. it's also a lot of other things.
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i went to a fairly elite college and law school and i had been a prosecutor and worked for companies that represented some very rich clients and i represented for for ari so all of that is a little piece of me. >> host: one of the characters in your book, a real person and it's worth reading the book just to learn about her. your last moments, you write about this. >> guest: i do. my grandmother was the most important person in my life next to my mother. she was everything to me and i described and about how we didn't look anything alike.
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she had a long face and i have a round face. i have curly hair and she had long straight hair. a little wavy that mine was curly. we didn't look alike but we shared a kindred spirit. everything about us was the same. we loved people and parties together. she taught me the beauty of words because she had poems memorized and she would talk about them. and i was there the last day of her life. she was sick with cancer and i was away at college. these are the days before cell phones. every call you made homeless expensive but i knew she was sick so i would call home at least once a week to try to talk to her. when i came home that semester from college, i went to the hospital and spent every day
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that i could with her. all the rest of my family except for one cousin went home. we went out and bought her a small christmas tree for her bedside and we put the christmas tree there and i sat there, he actually walked out of the room and she started to talk to me and she died in my arms. it's a moment that i will never forget. but there was a young girl this morning i was meeting with a group of kids from an organization in little havana. a little girl asked me did it hurt a lot when your grandfather died and i told her it hurt like anything. i cried and i cried once i
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stopped, i remembered and to this day i know she is still alive in the year and all of my memories. she's never died there. in those ways, no one ever dies forever because we sta they stae mind of the people who love us. >> host: ocean township new jersey. he would like to know if you've ever considered running for president or for office. >> guest: i love my job, i love and enjoy being a lawyer and a justice. to be a voice for the decision
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of the most important question in the united states and sometimes in the world, for me it is the perfect job. everybody has their own perfect jobs. we don't all like the same thi thing, but i've always been interested in the law and the good that it can do for people so for me this is the right job. >> host: we are out of time and we are getting the wrath signal. we have hundreds of questions in a three-day span we want to thank the teachers and students for sending the same and anytime you want to come over and answer some more questions they would like to talk with you again. my beloved world, the beloved world of sonya sotomayor she has
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another book turning pages. you will see her later here in our coverage of the miami book fair. thank you. [applause]
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