On Hispanic TV, Justice Sotomayor Surreptitiously Hits Campaign Trail

Despite acknowledging that she should not do so, on her current book tour United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor nevertheless waded into politicking, bashing both the Federal Government’s response to Hurricane María in Puerto Rico and exhorting Latino voters to go to the polls “to change this life for us Latinos.”

In separate interviews with Telemundo and Univision, Sotomayor’s partisan edge was evident. On its October 16 national evening newscast, Telemundo featured Sotomayor’s message as part of that network’s Get-Out-The-Vote (GOTV) campaign, currently being deployed in partnership with an array of politically liberal-aligned voter mobilization organizations (including Voto Latino, UnidosUS, Hispanic Federation and Mi Familia Vota).

 

 

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO: The apparent lack of enthusiasm worries many. That is why Justice Sonia Sotomayor sent a message, through our cameras, in order for our people to know that voting is the only way of guaranteeing our rights.

SONIA SOTOMAYOR, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT: My message is that the person who does not vote is a person who does not love this country, nor his community. Voting is the most important thing, the biggest obligation, of being a citizen. The most important thing to change this life for us Latinos is to vote.

That same evening on Univision’s national evening newscast, Sotomayor was featured bashing the Federal Government’s massive response to Hurricane María in Puerto Rico. She even prefaced her criticism that “help…is not being received” by acknowledging she was wading into political matters.

 

 

ILIA CALDERÓN, ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Following the onslaught of Hurricane María, does the treatment Puerto Rico has received seem fair to you?

SONIA SOTOMAYOR, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT: I am not supposed to speak about politics, but that question I will answer: no. Puerto Rico still needs a lot of help. The sadness of the island is her former beauty that we have to achieve again, but we need a lot of help to do it and it is not being received.

Evidently for Sotomayor, the fact that following Hurricane María Puerto Rico was the object of the largest disaster commodity federal response and the largest generator installation mission in U.S. history was not enough, nor was the fact that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development alone has allocated to Puerto Rico $20 billion in Community Development Block Grants, a figure more than twice the size of the U.S. Caribbean territory’s annual budget for its entire government.

At least Sotomayor was wise enough, during her interview with Univision, to remain diplomatic about fellow Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s recent arrival to the Court, saying that “Among colleagues there is always a welcome. He is a new member of our Court. We have to work with him and now we are beginning our new family. We work together, so let's let this time pass.”

Below is the complete transcript of the above-referenced segments, as aired during the October 16, 2018 editions of Noticiero Univisión and Noticias Telemundo.

Noticiero Univisión

October 16, 2018

ARANXTA LOIZAGA, ANCHOR, UNIVISIÓN: Sonia Sotomayor, the first Hispanic judge in the Supreme Court of the United States, promotes new books about her career for readers of different ages. Ilia Calderón traveled to New York and talked with Sotomayor about one of her books, as well as Puerto Rico, the elections and her new and controversial colleague, Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

ILIA CALDERÓN, ANCHOR, UNIVISIÓN: What was the biggest difficulty you faced as a Hispanic, as a woman, to arrive to the Supreme Court of the United States?

SONIA SOTOMAYOR, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT: Ah, a very complicated question. After becoming a lawyer and judge of two courts, before going to the Supreme Court, the greatest difficulty is the expectation of others that, because I was Latina, I didn’t have the intelligence to be able to do this job. I don't know if you know that during this process of confirmation to the Supreme Court there were many who said, ´she does not have the intelligence to do this job well.’ There are many who have changed their minds about that, with the passage of time.

CALDERÓN: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has spoken openly about her personal life and her struggles in her book for children ´Turning Pages.´ Following the onslaught of Hurricane María, does the treatment Puerto Rico has received seem fair to you?

SOTOMAYOR: I am not supposed to speak about politics, but that question I will answer: no. Puerto Rico still needs a lot of help. The sadness of the island is her former beauty that we have to achieve again, but we need a lot of help to do it and it is not being received. So for me, I feel it. That burden, I feel it a lot.

CALDERON: In your books you also speak about the feminist movement and the idea that we women are capable of, and we can do, everything. But, we are still paying a high price, those of us who are working moms. For how long?

SOTOMAYOR: Ah, always. It's our life. Look, many girls ask me, can done? and I tell them ´Yes, but not at the same time´. There are sacrifices that must be made. There are moments that you may not be able to be with your children. There are others when you may not be able to be at work. One has to accept that commitment is part of life.

CALDERÓN: Precisely the feminist movement was very present during the confirmation process of Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. How has the arrival of Justice Kavanaugh been? How were the first days among you, among colleagues?

SOTOMAYOR: (Laughs) They ask me a lot. Among colleagues there is always a welcome. He is a new member of our Court. We have to work with him and now we are beginning our new family. We work together, so let's let this time pass.

(....)

Noticias Telemundo

October 16, 2018

JOSÉ DÍAZ-BALART, ANCHOR, TELEMUNDO: Exactly three weeks from Election Day, the mobilization of the Latino vote remains pending. While some experts say that President Trump’s immigration policies will encourage us to go vote, recent polls appear to indicate the exact opposite. According to one recent survey nearly 55% of Latino voters say they have not yet been contacted by anyone to register to vote. The apparent lack of enthusiasm worries many. That is why Justice Sonia Sotomayor sent a message, through our cameras, in order for our people to know that voting is the only way of guaranteeing our rights.

SONIA SOTOMAYOR, ASSOCIATE JUSTICE, UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT: My message is that the person who does not vote is a person who does not love this country, nor his community. Voting is the most important thing, the biggest obligation, of being a citizen. The most important thing to change this life for us Latinos is to vote.

 

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