Until we get equality in education, we won't have an equal society.
With my academic achievement in high school, I was accepted rather readily at Princeton and equally as fast at Yale, but my test scores were not comparable to that of my classmates. And that's been shown by statistics, there are reasons for that.
Much of the uncertainty of law is not an unfortunate accident: it is of immense social value.
Being a justice. If you love law the way I do... you're given the job of a lifetime... you're permitted to address the most important legal questions of the country, and sometimes the world. And in doing so, you make a difference in people's lives.
I've never wanted to get adjusted to my income, because I knew I wanted to go back to public service. And in comparison to what my mother earns and how I was raised, it's not modest at all. I have no right to complain.
I'm young at heart. I'm young in spirit, and I'm still adventurous.
There are uses to adversity, and they don't reveal themselves until tested. Whether it's serious illness, financial hardship, or the simple constraint of parents who speak limited English, difficulty can tap unexpected strengths.
Personal experiences affect the facts that judges choose to see.
I had no need to apologize that the look-wider, search-more affirmative action that Princeton and Yale practiced had opened doors for me. That was its purpose: to create the conditions whereby students from disadvantaged backgrounds could be brought to the starting line of a race many were unaware was even being run.
I am a product of affirmative action. I am the perfect affirmative action baby. I am Puerto Rican, born and raised in the south Bronx. My test scores were not comparable to my colleagues at Princeton and Yale. Not so far off so that I wasn't able to succeed at those institutions.
When I call myself an affirmative action baby, I'm talking about the essence of what affirmative action was when it started.
You can't be a minority in this society without having someone express disapproval about affirmative action.
There are cultural biases built into testing, and that was one of the motivations for the concept of affirmative action - to try to balance out those effects.
I honestly felt no envy or resentment, only astonishment at how much of a world there was out there and how much of it others already knew. The agenda for self-cultivation that had been set for my classmates by their teachers and parents was something I'd have to develop for myself.
All of the legal defense funds out there, they're looking for people out there with court of appeals experience, because court of appeals is where policy is made. And I know, I know this is on tape and I should never say that because we don't make law, I know. I know.
I came to accept during my freshman year that many of the gaps in my knowledge and understanding were simply limits of class and cultural background, not lack of aptitude or application as I'd feared.
We apply law to facts. We don't apply feelings to facts.
I wouldn't approach the issue of judging in the way the president does. Judges can't rely on what's in their heart. They don't determine the law. Congress makes the law. The job of a judge is to apply the law.
The task of a judge is not to make the law - it is to apply the law.
It is important for all of us to appreciate where we come from and how that history has really shaped us in ways that we might not understand.