5 Reasons Why it’s a Smart Girl Summer with Justice Sonia Sotomayor

image of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

The Supreme Court this summer had us playing that Backstreet Boys hit “Quit Playing Games with My Heart” with their rulings this term, at times sticking it to Trump and at other times walking progressive values back. One constant warrior on our side is Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

we don't stan sonia sotomayor enough.
— dayanara ramirez (@dayanara_r) July 8, 2020

Here are the top 5 times Justice Sotomayor proved to be Justice Chingona:

​Calling out Trump’s Racist Motivations for Eliminating DACA

When the court ruled that the Trump administration could not dismantle DACA, Justice Sotomayor was the only justice to point out that Trump’s motivations were racist, as noted in this Mother Jones article. “I would not so readily dismiss the allegation that an executive decision disproportionately harms the same racial group that the President branded as less desirable mere months earlier,” Sotomayor wrote in her concurrence.

gif of woman dropping a mic


Defending the Right to Birth Control

Justice Sotomayor joined Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as the only two justices to dissent in a case that allows employers to deny covering their employees’ birth control. In the dissent written by Justice Ginsburg, the justices say “this Court leaves women workers to fend for themselves, to seek contraceptive coverage from sources other than their employer’s insurer, and, absent another available source of funding, to pay for contraceptive services out of their own pockets.”

gif of text reading :La Jefa


Standing Up for Workers

Justice Sotomayor and Justice Ginsburg were also the only two justices dissenting in a case that effectively allows religious schools to fire workers for nearly any reason. Justice Sotomayor wrote in her dissent “the Court skews the facts, ignores the applicable standard of review, dissenting and collapses Hosanna-Tabor’s careful analysis into a single consideration: whether a church thinks its employees play an important religious role. Because that simplistic approach has no basis in law and strips thousands of schoolteachers of their legal protections, I respectfully dissent.”

gif of woman, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, saying "why"


Protecting Asylum Seekers

Justice Sotomayor and Justice Elena Kagan were the only two justices dissenting in the Court’s decision that sided with the Trump administration making it easier to deport asylum seekers. The Court’s decision, Sotomayor wrote, “handcuffs the Judiciary’s ability to perform its constitutional duty to safeguard individual liberty and dismantles a critical component of the separation of powers.”

gif of woman, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, saying "I just keep on trying"


Guarding Tax-Dollars from Religious Schools

The Court’s conservative majority ruled that the state of Montana could not deny government aid for students attending religious schools. Justice Sotomayor joined the liberal justices in dissenting and wrote that the ruling “weakens this country’s longstanding commitment to a separation of church and state.”

gif of woman, Zendaya, saying "It's kind of obvious"


a Latina woman skillfully juggling the demands of family and work life.

Despite Latinas in the U.S. leading the charge as the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs in 2023 and despite the rise of Bachelor’s Degree attainment among them, Latinas continue to feel the pressure of gender role expectations often imposed within Latino culture. A recent Pew Research Center study has shed light on just how much pressure Latinas in America are under.

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