Respect Key To Supreme Court Relationships


This is just one of those news stories that seems so refreshing in light of what passes for the run-of-the-mill everything in Washington is dysfunctional articles that it demands to the posted.

Everybody knows that Supreme Court justices don’t always play nice.

“If you read some of our decisions, you know that we can be nasty to each other,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor told a gathering of law school graduates during a recent talk in Manhattan.

But there’s something that keeps the bench from collapsing into recriminations and bitter feeling. The secret, she said, is respect.

“We are all deeply, deeply involved in trying to make sure that our decisions are the right one,” Justice Sotomayor said. “Sometimes you do have to get emotional to get their attention, but other times you have to be more solicitous. There’s no one technique in life, but it has to start with respect. You’re not going to get anywhere without it.”

It was among several life lessons that the justice imparted during a talk on Thursday before the New Lawyer Institute, a skills-training and mentoring program for employed and unemployed young lawyers.

At another point a young man asked whether she finds it hard to connect to colleagues who come from more privileged backgrounds and are less familiar about “what the little man is going through.”

“That’s why I’m there,” Justice Sotomayor replied. “You have to have a purpose in life.”

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