When Justice Sonia Sotomayor won confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court, much was made of the fact that she was the first Latina to sit on the bench. Likewise, the confirmation of Justice Elena Kagan marked the first time the Court featured three women.
But now the Obama administration, in touting its judicial appointment record, is hailing another judicial milestone: the confirmation of the first disabled justice on the Court.
That sent some Court watchers and writers momentarily scratching their heads and asking who that justice might be. Sure, a few of the justices wear glasses, and Sotomayor has been seen sporting a cast or brace on her ankle or knee, but those were due to injuries she suffered, not a permanent disability.
The disease has clearly not held Sotomayor back, causing some like New York magazine’s Dan Amira to question whether it “substantially limits one or more of a [her] major life activities” under the ADA. But under the 2008 ADA Amendments Act, that is no longer necessary. Diabetes fits the bill because it “substantially limits endocrine function.“