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Eagleton Institute of Politics
Eagleton Institute of Politics


The Louis J.  Gambaccini Civic Engagement Series -
The Honorable Sonia Sotomayor, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice

Sotomayor in the audience Sotomayor in the stadium
In what must be counted as a highlight, not just of Eagleton's 60th anniversary year, but of the Institute's history, U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor came to New Brunswick as the 2016 speaker for Louis J. Gambaccini Civic Engagement Series. Sotomayor met with Eagleton Fellows and Undergraduate Associates for a Q and A session at Wood Lawn before heading to the Rutgers Athletic Center for a public conversation with Institute director Ruth B. Mandel, followed by student questions, before an audience of nearly 2,000. (The program, originally scheduled for a smaller venue, had to be moved to the RAC when the initial response filled available seats within four minutes.) Sotomayor delighted the crowd with anecdotes about her life story (as told in My Beloved World, her best-selling memoir) and descriptions of how she thinks about the law. The conversation began with Sotomayor and Mandel in chairs on the arena floor, but the Justice soon rose to get closer to the audience, climbing nearly to the top row, video camera and security detail in tow. Video of the event is available on Eagleton's YouTube channel here.

About The Honorable Sonia Sotomayor
Justice Sotomayor conversation with Eagleton director Ruth MandelSonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice, was born in Bronx, New York, on June 25, 1954. She earned a B.A. in 1976 from Princeton University, graduating summa cum laude and receiving the university's highest academic honor. In 1979, she earned a J.D. from Yale Law School, where she served as an editor of the Yale Law Journal. She served as Assistant District Attorney in the New York County District Attorney's Office from 1979–1984. She then litigated international commercial matters in New York City at Pavia & Harcourt, where she served as an associate and then partner from 1984–1992. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush Justice Sotomayor with studentsnominated her to the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and she served in that role from 1992–1998. She served as a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit from 1998–2009. President Barack Obama nominated her as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on May 26, 2009, and she assumed this role August 8, 2009.