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U.S. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor speaks in San Salvador on Aug. 16, 2011. / Jose Cabezas, AFP/Getty Images

Five years ago, Sonia Sotomayor became the first Latina sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court.

USA TODAY Network shares the story of the justice's rise to the bench, as told in her own words:

Because you only live once

"I savor life. When you have anything that threatens life ? it prods you into stepping back and really appreciating the value of life and taking from it what you can." - 2013 interview with USA TODAY

On her nomination to the Supreme Court

"It was the most electrifying moment of my life ... a moment in which you sit and realize that you've gone further than any dream you ever had, that you've reached something that never seemed possible. It is an overwhelming moment." - Interview with Oprah on March 24, 2013

On character

"Don't mistake politeness for lack of strength." - Sotomayor's 2013 book My Beloved World

On being a proud New Yorker from the Bronx

"I'm a New Yorker, and I jaywalk with the best of them." - Sotomayor's 2013 book My Beloved World

"I am a New Yorker, and 7 a.m. is a civilized hour to finish the day, not to start it." - comments to law students in 1994, as reported by The Washington Post

On affirmative action and her Ivy League education

"I am a product of affirmative action. I am the perfect affirmative action baby. I am Puerto Rican, born and raised in the south Bronx. My test scores were not comparable to my colleagues at Princeton and Yale. Not so far off so that I wasn't able to succeed at those institutions." - A 1990s panel discussion, reported by CNN

On being Latina

"The Latina in me is an ember that blazes forever." - speech to Hispanic law students at Hofstra University in 1996, reported by The Washington Post.

"I would warn any minority student today against the temptations of self-segregation: Take support and comfort from your own group as you can, but don't hide within it." -- Sotomayor's 2013 book My Beloved World

On dealing with obstacles

Sotomayor's father was an alcoholic who died when she was nine years old. Her mother, a nurse, worked long hours to support Sotomayor and her brother. Sotomayor battled diabetes, including near-death experiences as a child that contributed to her decision not to have children.

"There are uses to adversity, and they don't reveal themselves until tested." - Sotomayor's 2013 book My Beloved World

"In every position that I've been in, there have been naysayers who don't believe I'm qualified or who don't believe I can do the work. And I feel a special responsibility to prove them wrong." - interview Jan. 13 with NPR

On being a judge

"The job of a judge is to apply the law. And so it's not the heart that compels conclusions in cases. It's the law. The judge applies the law to the facts before that judge." - Confirmation hearing July 16, 2009

Follow @JolieLeeDC on Twitter.



Copyright 2014USAToday

Read the original story: Sotomayor said it: Notable quotes from Supreme Court's 1st Latina justice

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