The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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
  • Smartphone kill switches are coming

    Smartphones need kill switches. It's a relatively easy solution to the pricey (and irritating) problem of smartphone theft. But who would have thought that the big carriers would team up with Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung and lots of other manufacturers to voluntarily begin adding the technology by July 2015? The cooperative spirit! It makes so much sense!

    April 18, 2014

  • quake.jpg Pennsylvania won’t take action following Ohio ruling on quakes, fracking

    Pennsylvania officials plan no action despite new Ohio rules on drilling that affect a seismically active area near the state line.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Google acquires drone maker Titan Aerospace to spread Internet

    Google is adding drones to its fleets of robots and driverless cars.
    The Internet search company said it acquired Titan Aerospace, the maker of high-altitude, solar-powered satellites that provides customer access to data services around the world. Terms of the deal weren't disclosed.

    April 14, 2014

  • watching-tv.jpg Cutting the cord on cable TV, and not missing it a bit

    Three years ago, Royse City Herald Banner reporter Chris McGathey and his family decided to ditch pay TV in favor of Netflix, Hulu Plus and other cheaper web-based services. It's a decision they haven't regretted.

    April 3, 2014 1 Photo

  • spt_baylor.jpg VIDEO: Angels hitting coach suffers bizarre leg injury

    LA Angels hitting coach Don Baylor suffered a broken leg while squatting to catch a ceremonial first pitch from former Angel Vladimir Guerrero on Opening Day.

    April 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • barbour021614.jpg Sibling says Dexter drama motivated sister's 'lie' of mass murder

    The older sister of Miranda Barbour, who claims she murdered more than 22 "bad people" over six years, says the story is a lie that stems from infatuation with the Showtime TV series about a Miami cop who leads a secret life as a serial killer.

    April 1, 2014 1 Photo 3 Stories

  • Fact Checker: 'Birth control' for something other than family planning?

    "When 99 percent of women used birth control in their lifetime and 60 percent use it for something other than family planning, it's outrageous and I think the Supreme Court will suggest that their case is ridiculous."

    March 31, 2014

  • dog-sunglasses.jpg Do animals have a sense of humor?

    Right now, in a high-security research lab at Northwestern University's Falk Center for Molecular Therapeutics, scientists are tickling rats. Their goal? To develop a pharmaceutical-grade happiness pill. But their efforts might also produce some of the best evidence yet that humor isn't something experienced exclusively by human beings.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • touch.jpg Divorce is on the rise, and it's the baby boomers' fault

    A new paper from demographers at the University of Minnesota found that the age-standardized divorce rate has actually risen by an astonishing 40 percent since 1980.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • firefighters.jpg VIDEO: Firefighters sing song from 'Frozen' to calm girl stuck in elevator

    Firefighters in Reading, Mass., sing the Disney power ballad known by children everywhere -- "Let It Go" -- to calm a 4-year-old stuck in an elevator.

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

Elections
Front page
Clinton Herald Photos


Browse, buy and submit pictures with our photo site.

Poll

Should the city of Clinton appeal the open records violation ruling that will cost taxpayers $40,600?

Yes
No
     View Results
AP Video
Olympics 2014
Featured Comment
Featured Ads
Blue Zones Project
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.