PAnews.com, Port Arthur, Texas

Community News Network

January 9, 2014

No, Justice Sotomayor doesn't wear dentures

WASHINGTON — When you write an autobiography as candid as Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor did with "My Beloved World" - among the many topics explored were a lifelong battle with diabetes, her father's early death from alcoholism and her failed marriage - people apparently feel free to ask you almost anything.

And so one of the questions sent up at a sold-out event Wednesday night sponsored by the Smithsonian Associates came from a dental hygienist named Casey.

"Do you wear dentures?"

No, Sotomayor answered, but there's a story there: The smile featured on the book jacket took a lot of work on the part of a dentist who became one of her best friends.

She said she was introduced to the woman the year before she became a judge, at a function held by a mutual friend. The two talked on and off.

"At the end of the evening, she came up to me and said, 'You're such a warm person. Why don't you smile more?'" Sotomayor said she didn't know.

The dentist replied, "I think you don't smile because you're ashamed of your teeth."

As was the case with many children of the 1950s, Sotomayor said, her mother had taken strong iron supplements and that led, among other issues, to children with "poor, poor teeth."

The dentist was right, Sotomayor said. "There is not hardly a picture of me as a child, or before I met my dentist, that has me smiling . . . with my teeth showing."

The process must have taken some time - Sotomayor reported a dental debt on her financial disclosure forms when nominated for the Supreme Court in 2009 - and she said the two women became so close that the dentist's son is Sotomayor's godson.

When they watched the televised news conference where President Barack Obama announced Sotomayor as his choice, the boy turned to his mother, according to Sotomayor, and said, "Mommy, you gave her a million-dollar smile."

Sotomayor, raised in a Bronx housing project in a household where only Spanish was spoken, dispensed loads of self-help advice and scant inside-the-Supreme Court insight before a packed Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University.

At the outset, it was announced she would not address any issue before the court. She strayed from her own story only to briefly say the judiciary should be more diverse - not just racially or ethnically, but in life experience. For example, there are far more former prosecutors on the bench than former defense or civil rights lawyers, she said.

But mostly she expanded questions and readings from her book into love-yourself messages.

"So for those of you who have things that affect your self-image, there are things that can be done about it," she said during the discussion of her teeth.

"Those are the things you should look at, because those are the things that can help you feel better about yourself. And that really did help me. I started opening myself to other people."

 

1
Text Only
Community News Network
  • American sunscreens need an upgrade

    The last time a new sunscreen ingredient came on the U.S. market, the Y2K bug was threatening to destroy our way of life. Intel had just introduced the Pentium III processor, featuring an amazing 500 MHz of computing power.

    April 24, 2014

  • 20140424-AMX-COFFEE24.jpg Coffee growers' prayers for rain met with threat of deluge

    Brazil's drought made arabica coffee this year's best-performing commodity. Now, farmers are facing a downpour that is once more threatening crops.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Celebrity quack moms are a terrible influence on everyday parents

    On April 15, the actress Alicia Silverstone released a book called "The Kind Mama: A Simple Guide to Supercharged Fertility, a Radiant Pregnancy, a Sweeter Birth, and a Healthier, More Beautiful Beginning." It's chock-full of attachment parenting lessons and dangerous misinformation.

    April 24, 2014

  • Affirmative action ruling challenges colleges seeking diversity

    The U.S. Supreme Court's support of Michigan's ban on race-based affirmative action in university admissions may spur colleges to find new ways to achieve diversity without using racial preferences.

    April 23, 2014

  • A 'wearable robot' helps her walk again

    Science is about facts, numbers, laws and formulas. To be really good at it, you need to spend a lot of time in school. But science is also about something more: dreaming big and helping people.

    April 23, 2014

  • Cuba is running out of condoms

    The newest item on Cuba's list of dwindling commodities is condoms, which are now reportedly in short supply. In response, the Cuban government has approved the sale of expired condoms.

    April 23, 2014

  • The waffle taco's biggest enemy isn't McDonald's. It's consumer habits.

    Gesturing to Taco Bell, Thompson said McDonald's had "not seen an impact relative to the most recent competitor that entered the [breakfast] space," and that new competition would only make McDonald's pursue breakfast more aggressively.

    April 23, 2014

  • Screen Shot 2014-04-22 at 4.42.47 PM.png VIDEO: Leopard attacks crowd in India

    A leopard caused panic in the city of Chandrapur when it sprung from the roof of a house and charged at rescue workers.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • The top 12 government programs ever

    Which federal programs and policies succeed in being cost-effective and targeting those who need them most? These two tests are obvious: After all, why would we spend taxpayers' money on a program that isn't worth what it costs or helps those who do not need help?

    April 22, 2014

  • In cuffs... 'Warlock' in West Virginia accused of sexual assault

    Police in West Virginia say a man claiming to be a “warlock” used promises of magical spells to lure children into committing sexual acts with him.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

Video
Facebook
Sports Tweets
Photos