Justice Sotomayor talks about court diversity, mingles with people at Rutgers

Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks with a student at Rutgers University Monday.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor speaks with a student at Rutgers University Monday. (4/11/16)

PISCATAWAY - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has renewed her hope for the court to become more diverse in professional and life experience during an appearance at Rutgers University in Piscataway.

She echoed remarks she made last week in New York. She says having more diversity on the court may not change outcomes of cases but would "influence the manner" in which the justices approach issues.

She said last week the court is "five Catholics, three Jews, everyone from an Ivy League school."

Sotomayor became the U.S. Supreme Court’s first Hispanic justice back in 2009 when she was sworn in.

Sotomayor delighted the crowd of 3,000 people in the university's basketball arena Monday when she climbed stairs almost to the top to shake hands as she answered questions from a podium. 

She was trailed by two security officers and joked she was breaking protocol.

The justice did not speak about the current vacancy in the court. She took pre-screened questions from several students at the conclusion of her hourlong talk.

Sotomayor's appearance at Rutgers was presented by the university's Eagleton Institute.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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