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The First Celebrity Justice

Rookie Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor may be out-talking her fellow judges and outshining Beltway stars in New York and Washington’s gossip columns, but the New Yorker’s Lauren Collins finds her to be an earthy, grounded, and technocratic jurist. Profiling Sotomayor in this week’s issue, Collins describes someone who is no radical but a friend of institutions and the establishment. She has a light touch. The judge is unashamed to belt out “We Are Family” at a karaoke bar and a boss generous enough to open her apartment for Scotch and poker nights for her clerks. Not that she isn’t self-regarding: Sotomayor’s friends bought her dozens of outfits for her to wear at her confirmation hearings, and she brought a trainer in to help her prepare for throwing the first pitch at Yankee Stadium.