Sotomayor Reminisces About Life-Changing Call

Says she burst into tears when Obama gave her the news
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 25, 2009 12:39 PM CDT
Barack Obama, left, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor talk in the Justices' Conference Room prior to Justice Sotomayor's formal Investiture Ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States, Steve Petteway)
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(Newser) – Sonia Sotomayor sat by the phone for 12 hours waiting for the call. When it finally rang, “I had my left hand over my chest, trying to calm my beating heart,” she recalls in an interview with C-SPAN. When President Obama offered her the Supreme Court appointment, “I caught my breath and started to cry and said, ‘Thank you, Mr. President.'”

It’s rare to hear such details so soon after a judge’s confirmation. The interview was conducted on Aug. 8, before Sotomayor was sworn in, and will air next month. “He asked me to make him two promises. The first was to remain the person I was, and the second was to stay connected to my community,” she recalls. She also recounts her hectic journey to Washington; the White House quickly arranged her family’s travel plans but forgot hers.