NBC's Guthrie Chats With Sotomayor About Her Love Life in Softball Interview
In part two of an interview with liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday's NBC Today, co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered: "Your
mom fell in love again late in life....Do you ever wonder if that might
happen for you?...Where do you take a Supreme Court justice on a date?"
In the first part of the exchange aired on Monday, Guthrie asked about the role of the Court, on Tuesday, it was all about promoting Sotomayor's memoir, My Beloved World. Guthrie asked about the Justice's childhood and narrated: "Here, from the church she once attended with her aunt, to the library where she voraciously gobbled up books, the future Supreme Court justice was cultivating a love of the law from two unlikely legal influences: Nancy Drew and Perry Mason."
gushed over how Sotomayor's "self assurance and work ethic took her to
Princeton, Yale Law School, and the hallowed halls of justice." Then
sympathetically observed that the divorced Justice "admits to feeling an
occasional tug of regret over never having children of her own."
Before speculating on Sotomayor's dating status, Guthrie informed viewers: "...today she spends what little free time she has staying fit, watching her beloved Yankees, and even Salsa dancing."
Here is a full transcript of the January 15 interview:
7:02AM ET TEASE:
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: We're going to have more of our rare interview with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. It's a candid interview, she talks about troubles in her childhood and some of the regrets she still feels to this day.
7:30AM ET TEASE:
GUTHRIE: We're going to have more of our interview with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor today. She opens up about her difficult childhood, the influence of Nancy Drew and Perry Mason on her legal career, and her thoughts on having it all. It's rare to get to talk to a Supreme Court justice. She was very candid and down to earth. So we look forward to bringing you that.
MATT LAUER: I look forward to it as well.
7:36AM ET SEGMENT:
GUTHRIE: Sonia Sotomayor is only the third woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court and the first Hispanic justice on the high court. This week she releases My Beloved World, a deeply personal memoir. I recently met up with Justice Sotomayor at her childhood church to learn a little bit more about the woman behind the robe.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: My Beloved World; Savannah One-on-One With Justice Sonia Sotomayor]
SONIA SOTOMAYOR: I wrote this book right after my nomination because I wanted to hold on to the real Sonia.
GUTHRIE: The real Sonia traces her earliest footsteps on the streets of the Bronx.
SOTOMAYOR: This was a bustling, bustling area jam-packed with people.
GUTHRIE: Telling a story at times inspiring and heartbreaking. At age 8, diagnosed with juvenile diabetes, and her mother, Selena, left to raise two young children after Sotomayor's father died following a long battle with alcohol. Do you think you were fully aware of the struggles he was having with alcohol?
SOTOMAYOR: Even as a child, I asked, "If you really love me, why can't you stop?" I never asked him that question, because I knew the answer. He can't. He couldn't.
GUTHRIE: You've spoken so warmly of your mother, who I know you adore. But as a child we learn in the book you didn't always have that close relationship, and at one point I think you use the word "neglect."
SOTOMAYOR: Neglect was the right word. I barely saw my mother. And the mom I saw was often angry and unhappy. The mother I grew up with is not the mother I know now. It's not the mother she became after my father died. And that's been the greatest prize of my life. Because in watching my mother grow and develop herself, I grew and developed myself.
GUTHRIE: Here, from the church she once attended with her aunt, to the library where she voraciously gobbled up books...
SOTOMAYOR: I read anything and anything I could get my hands on.
GUTHRIE: ...the future Supreme Court justice was cultivating a love of the law from two unlikely legal influences: Nancy Drew and Perry Mason.
SOTOMAYOR: In one episode, after the guilty party had confessed, Perry turned to the judge.
UNIDENTIFIED MAN [ACTOR]: We will have order.
SOTOMAYOR: And at that moment, I realized that the most important person in that room was the judge. And I wanted to be that person.
GUTHRIE: You wanted to be the most important person in the room?
SOTOMAYOR: Everybody has a little ego.
GUTHRIE: That self assurance and work ethic took her to Princeton, Yale Law School, and the hallowed halls of justice. You take this on with such confidence. Weren't these intimidating situations?
SOTOMAYOR: Oh, gosh, I was filled with fear. When you come from a background like mine, where you're entering worlds that are so different than your own, you have to be afraid.
GUTHRIE: Do you still have that fear?
SOTOMAYOR: Oh, yes. Oh, yes. You should have seen me the first year on the Supreme Court.
GUTHRIE: Is the Supreme Court the kind of place where a person like you could come in and acknowledge to the other justices, "This is kind of intimidating"?
SOTOMAYOR: No. You don't announce it at a conference. No. You do your job, okay?
GUTHRIE: That job requires Sotomayor to render decisions on the hot-button issues of the day, from gay marriage to Affirmative Action. Outside of the Court, Sotomayor has embraced her public profile as a chance to inspire young kids.
SOTOMAYOR [ON SESAME STREET]: We're here to tell you all about the word "career."
GUTHRIE: But she admits to feeling an occasional tug of regret over never having children of her own. Do you think if you had chosen a different course in your personal life you would be a Supreme Court justice?
SOTOMAYOR: I don't know. But I knew that I wanted to be an independent woman with my own career and successful in whatever I chose to do. Could I have that and have had children? Many women do. Can you have it all every minute of the day? No.
GUTHRIE: Divorced since 1983 from her high school sweetheart, today she spends what little free time she has staying fit, watching her beloved Yankees, and even Salsa dancing. Your mom fell in love again late in life.
SOTOMAYOR: She most certainly did.
GUTHRIE: Do you ever wonder if that might happen for you?
SOTOMAYOR: All the time.
GUTHRIE: So where do you take a Supreme Court justice on a date?
SOTOMAYOR: I don't have any idea yet. To have a romance, you have to have time. I'm a justice, I've written a book, the guy's going to have to wait until I'm a little bit freer.
GUTHRIE: I wonder what, if anything, you're ambitious for now.
SOTOMAYOR: I haven't finished growing yet. I'm young at heart. I'm young in spirit. And I'm still adventurous.
GUTHRIE: That, she is. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Again, her memoir is called My Beloved World.