Sotomayor: getting lost on way to Supreme Court nomination

September 25, 2009

USA-SOTOMAYOR/When Sonia Sotomayor got THE CALL, she says her heart started racing and she started crying.

President Barack Obama had called on her cell phone to say she was his first pick for the U.S. Supreme Court.

“I actually stood by my balcony doors, and I had … my cell phone in my right hand and I had my left hand over my chest trying to calm my beating heart,” Sotomayor, now a Supreme Court Justice, said in an interview with the cable television network C-SPAN.

On that evening in late May, Sotomayor said, “I caught my breath and started to cry and said, ‘Thank you, Mr. President’.” Her public admission of emotion was uncharacteristically candid for a sitting Supreme Court Justice.

And then she faced her first hurdle on the road to confirmation — getting to Washington.

A friend drove her from New York for Obama’s announcement the next day. The trip to Washington, which usually takes about four hours, “took us a little longer,” she said. “A torrential rain started on the drive and it knocked out our GPS, and so we got lost.”

Sotomayor had been writing her remarks during the drive and realized at one point they were in Virginia going away from Washington.

“So we pulled over on a road and I started calling up a friend and saying please get on the computer and figure out how we get back to where we have to go,” she said.

One of her law clerks gave her directions to the hotel. “It was a very eventful night,” Sotomayor added.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Jim Young (Obama and Sotomayor at White House reception in August)

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

A very humane judge who will accomplish optimal results with her transparency, knowledge and empathy. She will make the bench even more respected;

Posted by Pancha Chandra | Report as abusive