Records Show Justice Make Rare Request

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has been the only sitting member of the high court to request special medical assistance during travel in recent years, according to newly released U.S. Marshals Service records. The revelation comes amidst speculation about the 69-year-old justice’s health and potential retirement.

Sotomayor, who has been open about her diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes as a child, was accompanied by a medic during a February 2018 trip to South Florida, as revealed by records obtained by the liberal court watchdog Fix The Court. This trip came just a month after paramedics were called to her home due to symptoms of low blood sugar, raising concerns about the justice’s ability to continue serving on the bench.

The issue of Sotomayor’s health has sparked discussions among some left-leaning court watchers, with some questioning whether she should consider retiring to allow President Joe Biden to nominate a replacement before the 2024 presidential election.

This echoes the controversial decision made by the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who chose not to retire under former President Barack Obama, ultimately resulting in President Donald Trump nominating and confirming Justice Amy Coney Barrett, securing a 6-3 majority of Republican-appointed members on the high court.

The recent Marshals Service records also revealed that on at least four trips in 2021 and 2022, Sotomayor’s baggage included medical gear or supplies, further fueling speculation about her health. However, Sotomayor has not indicated any intention to retire, and it is unknown whether she plans to do so soon.

During a recent panel discussion on CNN, reporter and podcast host Josh Barro discussed the implications of Sotomayor’s recent comments about the exhausting workload of the Supreme Court.

With the possibility of Democrats losing control of the Senate in the next election, there is growing concern about the timeline for a Democratic president to make a nomination to fill Sotomayor’s seat.

Before Biden’s recent appointment of Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, left-leaning group Demand Justice ran a campaign urging Justice Stephen Breyer to retire and pave the way for Jackson, who became the first black woman to sit on the high court.

Sotomayor’s recent public comments about her fatigue and the demanding nature of her work have only added to the speculation about her potential retirement. However, during a recent talk at the University of California, Berkeley, she also emphasized the importance of continuing to fight for justice, saying, “You can’t throw up your hands and walk away. And that’s not a choice. That’s an abdication. That’s giving up.”

Sotomayor, along with Justice Barrett, spoke at the National Governors Association winter meeting on Friday, highlighting the importance of bipartisanship and the lessons that can be learned from the inner workings of the high court.

As the oldest sitting member of the court, Sotomayor’s potential retirement and its impact on the balance of the court will continue to be a topic of discussion and speculation.

The Washington Examiner