Justice Sotomayor: Sometimes I Wanted to Beat Scalia with a Baseball Bat


U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, while advocating for civility in public discourse, admitted to an audience at the University of Minnesota Law School that there were times she wanted to beat her colleague, the late conservative Justice Antonin Scalia, over the head with a baseball bat.

“There are things he’s said on the bench where if I had a baseball bat, I might have used it,” Sotomayor told a crowd at the University of Minnesota on Monday, according to the Pioneer Press.

Her remarks in the 90 minute Q & A with students were not, however, meant to be hostile.

She acknowledged their ideological differences and said she would spar with Scalia many times on the job, but told the audience that losing Scalia, who died in February, was like losing a family member.

She further explained that it is never good to attribute ill will to one’s adversaries.

“If we’ve lost anything, it’s remembering that differences don’t stand, necessarily, on ill will,” she said. “If you keep that in mind, you can resolve almost any issue, because you can find that common ground to interact with each other.”

Sotomayor also gave the students insight into how she dealt with her other colleagues earlier in her career.

Asked whether she was tough on lawyers as a trial judge, she said she tolerated mistakes but not laziness or a lack of preparation.

“I think I suffer fools easily,” she said to laughs, then added, “You know where I sit, right?”