SCOTUS changed oral arguments in part because female justices were interrupted, Sotomayor says
(CNN) Justice Sonia Sotomayor told an audience Wednesday that recent changes in the format of oral arguments were instituted in part after studies emerged showing that female justices on the court were interrupted more by male justices and advocates.
Sotomayor said the studies, including one by researchers Tonja Jacoby and Dylan Schweers in 2017, have had an "enormous impact" and led to Chief Justice John Roberts being "much more sensitive" to ensuring that people were not interrupted or at least that he would play referee if needed.
She also said that it is a dynamic that exists not only on the court but in society as well.
"Most of the time women say things and they are not heard in the same way as men who might say the identical thing," she said.
Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Neil Gorsuch and Amy Coney BarrettSotomayor said that she had noticed the pattern "without question" before the system was changed on the bench and sometimes she would respond in a way that she knew was probably not ideal.
"I interrupt back," she said.