Sotomayor: The 9 of us are now a family

Justice Sonia Sotomayor tells CNN's David Axelrod about the current state of the court and welcoming Justice Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Posted: Nov 19, 2018 9:43 AM
Updated: Nov 19, 2018 10:17 AM

Justice Sonia Sotomayor in an interview with CNN's David Axelrod said that Justice Brett Kavanaugh was welcomed into the Supreme Court "family" in the wake of his polarizing confirmation process.

"When you're charged with working together for most of the remainder of your life, you have to create a relationship," Sotomayor said in an "Axe Files" interview airing Saturday.

"The nine of us are now a family and we're a family with each of us our own burdens and our own obligations to others, but this is our work family, and it's just as important as our personal family.

"We've probably spent more time with each other than most justices spend, who have spouses, with their spouses," she added.

Kavanaugh, who has served since being confirmed early last month, had his confirmation thrown into doubt after a tense Senate Judiciary Committee hearing in September in which California professor Christine Blasey Ford alleged the Supreme Court nominee had sexually assaulted her when they were in high school in the 1980s. Kavanaugh denied the allegations against him.

Sotomayor said despite the contentious confirmation, she told Kavanaugh that the focus on him will settle on his actions as part of the court.

"It was Justice (Clarence) Thomas who tells me that when he first came to the Court, another justice approached him and said, 'I judge you by what you do here. Welcome.' And I repeated that story to Justice Kavanaugh when I first greeted him here," she said.

Thomas was accused of sexual harassment after being nominated in 1991 and also narrowly confirmed by the Senate.

Sotomayor, who was first confirmed to the court in 2009, also pushed back on the notion that Kavanaugh's presence cements a conservative tilt on the Court -- an institution she said is above "political terms."

"Conservative, liberal, those are political terms," she said. "Do I suspect that I might be dissenting a bit more? Possibly, but I still have two relatively new colleagues, one very new colleague, Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch. And we've agreed in quite a few cases, we've disagreed in a bunch, But you know, let's see."

When asked modern political discourse, Sotomayor said too large of an emphasis has been put on differences rather than common "human values."

"We all have families we love, we all care about others, we care about our country, and we care when people are injured," she told Axelrod. "And unfortunately, the current conversation often forgets that. It forgets our commonalities and focuses on superficial differences whether those are language or how people look or the same God they pray to but in different ways.

"Those differences truly are not important," she added. "What is important is those human values we share and those human feelings that we share. But I worry that we forget about that too often."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 604687

Reported Deaths: 7643
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1250161780
Ramsey52519898
Dakota46852471
Anoka42789458
Washington27436291
Stearns22561225
St. Louis18146313
Scott17553137
Wright16383149
Olmsted13406102
Sherburne1202795
Carver1067448
Clay826592
Rice8204110
Blue Earth762744
Crow Wing681895
Kandiyohi668185
Chisago620152
Otter Tail586284
Benton582998
Goodhue484074
Douglas475781
Mower470533
Winona461451
Itasca460163
Isanti440364
McLeod430961
Morrison424962
Beltrami407962
Nobles407750
Steele397816
Polk389072
Becker386755
Lyon363853
Carlton353056
Freeborn347133
Pine334923
Nicollet331345
Mille Lacs311854
Brown308040
Le Sueur297326
Cass286332
Todd285633
Meeker263543
Waseca238023
Martin235333
Roseau211221
Wabasha20793
Hubbard196641
Dodge18783
Renville182846
Redwood176539
Houston174616
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Wadena163423
Fillmore157610
Faribault155219
Chippewa154038
Pennington153820
Kanabec146828
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Watonwan13579
Rock128719
Jackson122812
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Pope11306
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Stevens92411
Clearwater89016
Marshall88817
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Wilkin83213
Lac qui Parle75622
Big Stone6044
Grant5948
Lincoln5853
Mahnomen5669
Norman5479
Kittson49022
Unassigned48393
Red Lake4017
Traverse3775
Lake of the Woods3453
Cook1720

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 371226

Reported Deaths: 6056
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk58274641
Linn21241339
Scott20311248
Black Hawk16180312
Woodbury15241230
Johnson1462285
Dubuque13515211
Dallas1129499
Pottawattamie11233174
Story1072048
Warren583891
Clinton561593
Cerro Gordo554196
Sioux517674
Webster516094
Muscatine4884106
Marshall487176
Des Moines467672
Wapello4337122
Buena Vista427040
Jasper421172
Plymouth403181
Lee382556
Marion366176
Jones301057
Henry294537
Bremer288761
Carroll287252
Boone268534
Crawford268340
Benton260355
Washington257551
Dickinson249344
Mahaska232751
Jackson225242
Clay216727
Kossuth216166
Tama212271
Delaware211143
Winneshiek198935
Page194522
Buchanan194133
Cedar192323
Hardin187544
Fayette186943
Wright186140
Hamilton182051
Harrison179973
Clayton171157
Butler166535
Madison164519
Mills163924
Floyd163542
Cherokee159338
Lyon158941
Poweshiek157136
Allamakee152852
Hancock150334
Iowa149724
Winnebago144531
Cass139255
Calhoun138813
Grundy137433
Emmet135841
Jefferson133335
Shelby131637
Sac130920
Union130035
Louisa129849
Appanoose129049
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Franklin123523
Guthrie123332
Humboldt119626
Palo Alto113523
Howard105022
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Clarke101124
Keokuk96832
Monroe96431
Unassigned9550
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Davis85325
Monona83431
Osceola78917
Greene78011
Lucas77923
Worth7628
Taylor66812
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