Red Table Talk: Watch Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Recall Her First Day on the Job

In an exclusive sneak peek at the final 2020 episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor remembers her first day on the nation’s highest court.

By Jonathan Borge Dec 02, 2020 4:00 PMTags
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Red Table Talk: The Estefans is saying goodbye to 2020 with a bang.

For the year's final episode of Gloria Estefan's new Facebook Watch talk show, she and her co-hosts—daughter Emily and niece Lili Estefan—scored a rare interview with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina appointed to the nation's highest court by President Barack Obama back in 2009. 

"When I think of women I admire, this fierce, fearless trailblazer is high on my list," Gloria says in a teaser for the Wednesday, Dec. 2 episode. "One hundred and 15 justices have served on the Supreme Court. Only five of them have been women."

Sotomayor was born in the South Bronx and was raised in a housing project near Yankee Stadium before working her way up the legal ladder. 

In an exclusive sneak peek shared with E! News, Sotomayor recalls what starting her new job was like. "My first day on the Supreme Court I go to my office and sitting in my office is a legal icon, a justice by the name of Sandra Day O'Connor," Sotomayor says. "And she was sitting there waiting for me and I was so taken aback that such an important lady—she was the first female justice on the Supreme Court in 1981 and she was alone on the Supreme Court until Ruth Bader Ginsburg came to the court in the 1990s."

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Sotomayor continues, "The next visitor was John Paul Stevens who at the time was 88-and-a-half-years-old and he too was an icon of a justice. It was just such a tremendous feeling to be welcomed by two of the longest-serving justices on the court. I remember coming out with my colleagues to sit at the bench and I got chills down my back." 

Elsewhere in the episode, Sotomayor revisits what it was like to be nominated by President Obama, and she also gets treated to a special musical performance by Emily, a singer and LGBTQ+ advocate.

As Gloria mentioned at the top of the episode, we're living in a time during which the Supreme Court will determine the sanctity of legislation such as the Affordable Care Act, which impacts millions of Americans.


Red Table Talk

Sotomayor also offered Emily advice on how young people can stay involved in politics and better understand the judicial system. "Emily, you have no choice. Your vision won't happen simply because you desire it. Your vision only happens with hard work and commitment to doing the right thing," she says. "I speak to kids all the time and I tell them that the most important role in their life is being not a citizen with a capital C, a citizen of a country, but being a citizen with a small c, a citizen of your community. That's the most important role you can play in life." Powerful words, indeed.

The final 2020 episode of Red Table Talk: The Estefans airs Wednesday, Dec. 2 at 12 p.m. ET. 

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