by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has kind words for her ideological foil.
Appearing Tuesday at Vanderbilt University Law School, Sotomayor expressed her deep personal affection for Justice Clarence Thomas.
“He knows the name of every single employee in the building,” Sotomayor told students and faculty, according to local media. “I can stand here and say I just love the man as a person. He has the same value towards human beings as I have, despite our differences.”
Though silent on the bench, Thomas is a gregarious presence at the Court. Sotomayor has noted elsewhere that Thomas takes an acute interest in the Court’s employees, and his infectious laugh strikes a charming note during his occasional public appearances.
Thomas and Sotomayor disagreed in 32 percent of cases during the Court’s previous term, according to statistics compiled by SCOTUSblog. Thomas only broke with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg more frequently.