Sonia Sotomayor


Sonia Sotomayor

Supreme Court Justice
(Jun. 25, 1954 – Present)

Reading Grade Level:

1st – 2nd

3rd – 4th

5th & up

Sonia Sotomayor is a Supreme Court Justice. She is the third woman and first Latina Supreme Court Justice of the United States. Sonia was born in New York City on June 25, 1954. Her parents were from Puerto Rico, so she grew up speaking both Spanish and English. Her father was a toolmaker and her mother was a nurse. At seven years old Sonia she found out she has diabetes. She has to take medicine every day for this disease. This made Sonia very responsible at a young age. As a kid, she grew up near Yankee’s Stadium. This gave her a lifelong love of baseball. Sonia also enjoyed reading and loved the Nancy Drew books. She knew she wanted to become a judge after watching a T.V. show about lawyers.

Sonia finished high school with the best grades from all of her classmates. She went on to college to study history. Sonia began to give back to her community by starting an after school program for kids. She also volunteered at a hospital as an interpreter for families who did not speak English. After college, Sonia went on to law school where she became a lawyer.

Afterward, Sonia started working as a lawyer in New York. She worked to protect people and communities that were not treated fairly. After working as a lawyer for over ten years, President George W. Bush nominated Sonia to become a judge. Being a judge is a big deal because judges get to decide what is right and what is wrong.

It has even been said that Sonia saved baseball. In 1994, the baseball season was canceled because the players went out on strike. This meant that the players did not show up to the games until they were treated fairly. The players felt that the baseball team owners were not paying them enough for all of the work they were doing. In 1995 the players and the team owners went to Sonia’s court to try to agree. Sonia sided with the players and made sure the owners paid them fairly. Afterward, the players returned to the games, and the baseball season continued!

In 2009, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, chose Sonia to become a Justice of The Supreme Court. This is the biggest role a judge can earn. There are nine justices on The Supreme Court. They work together to make decisions so everyone in this country is safe and is treated fairly.

Sonia is inspiring because she helps people, businesses, and the government solve their problems. She continues to use her compassion and love of learning to make the world an equal place for everyone.

(Watch Sonia speak about her life! )

Reflection Question

Michelle’s famous skating move is called the “Change of Edge Spiral.” If you were to invent a skating move what would it look like, and what would you name it?