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Justice Sotomayor talks to law students; no Gorsuch mention


    U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor gestures during a speech at the University of California at Berkeley in Berkeley, Calif. Sotomayor and her fellow judges sometimes disagree about decisions, but are collegial because they respect each other’s passion for the law, she told students at Albany Law School in New York.

ALBANY, N.Y. >> U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor talked to law students about her family, the collegial relationship among her fellow justices and the roles of passion and empathy in a legal career, but she made no mention of the U.S. Senate confirmation hearings of Neil Gorsuch in an appearance at Albany Law School this evening.

“We can disagree about the best answer, but it’s all born from the same passion about the law,” Sotomayor said in response to a student’s question about whether anger over differing judicial opinions makes it hard to have a collegial court. “What gets people to listen to you is your passion, not your anger.”

Sotomayor roamed through the lecture hall, at times embracing a student or posing for a group photo, as she talked about growing up in an extended Puerto Rican family in the Bronx and being a role model for young people. But she steered clear of politics.

Sotomayor was given with the school’s Kate Stoneman Award, presented annually to people in the legal profession who have demonstrated a commitment to seeking change and equal opportunities for women.

Sotomayor has two more Albany-area appearances on Tuesday. She’s slated to receive an honorary doctorate from the Sage Colleges and will hold an interactive discussion of her memoir, “My Beloved World,” at an evening appearance at the University at Albany.

Sotomayor was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2009. She’s the third woman and first Latina to serve on the Supreme Court.

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