The Country's Best Legal Minds Are Working on Sonia Sotomayor's Takeout Problem

Illustration for article titled The Country's Best Legal Minds Are Working on Sonia Sotomayor's Takeout Problem

A few years ago, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor revealed that getting food delivered to the Supreme Court was a real pain in her ass. Now, Sotomayor’s law clerks are researching the problem. This would be a priority for me, as well.


Back in 2013, Sotomayor told the New York Times:

“I go to New York, I order food, it’s at my door in 10 to 15 minutes. O.K.?” she said in an interview in her Supreme Court chambers. In Washington, she said, “there isn’t a place I call where it doesn’t take 45 minutes.”

“And then getting the food delivered to the Supreme Court? They’ve got to stop at security, security has to call you, you’ve got to go downstairs. By the time you get downstairs you may add another 15 minutes to the 45 minutes. And the food is ice-cold.”

First of all, where in the hell is Sonia Sotomayor ordering takeout from in New York City that it takes 10 to 15 minutes? Recently, I waited over an hour for a salad from Chop’t, located two blocks away from my office. Maybe if I were a beloved Supreme Court Justice, Chop’t would not have hurt me in this way.

Anyway, during a recent panel discussion at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Sotomayor gave us an update on the takeout situation, which has apparently improved (her local favorites are sushi and Indian)—but evidently not enough so that her law clerks are off the hook; the Times reports that they are “researching the situation.”

The justices usually eat lunch together when the court is in session, and are careful to keep the peace during these breaks. “We don’t talk about cases,” Justice Sotomayor said during the panel. “That’s our absolute rule.” They also reportedly avoid raising topics that “might create hostility”; however, this latter rule does not include the controversial lunches packed by certain (male) justices:

Justice David H. Souter, who retired in 2009, would subsist on a lunch of “plain yogurt,” Justice Ginsburg said, with distaste. “Just plain yogurt.”

Justice Sotomayor, who succeeded Justice Souter, said he might have brought the occasional apple. Justice Ginsburg said that was for “later in the day.”

Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired in 2010, favored cheese sandwiches on white bread with the crust cut off.


What is wrong with these people? Clearly, when it comes to yogurt, the law is on my side.

Image via Associated Press.

Ellie is a freelance writer and former senior writer at Jezebel. She is pursuing a master's degree in science journalism at Columbia University in the fall.



Now I’m imagining the favorite lunch choices of all the justices, based on recent rulings. Who wants to play?