Adam deals effectively with this jaw-dropping nonsense from Stuart Taylor. It’s worth adding that, as far as I can tell, none of Taylor’s many remarkably non-prescient mash notes to his beloved Sam Alito addressed Alito’s membership in CAP.
Which, of course, brings us to another point. It’s obvious why Alito’s membership in CAP was potentially relevant — it’s troubling for a Supreme Court justice to have belonged to an explicitly exclusionary group and then boasted about it when he applied for federal jobs. How much weight you want to put on it is debatable, but its relevance to Alito’s critics is clear. On the other hand, what on earth about Sotomayor’s student activities reflects poorly on her as a Supreme Court justice? Here’s the punchline:
And some [who exactly? The voices in your head? — ed.] may see Sotomayor’s letter as evidence that she was predisposed to look for the worst, not the best, in the institution that had afforded her such opportunities. She now sits on Princeton’s Board of Trustees.
Leaving aside the feebleness of the evidence that Taylor uses to make this inference, who the hell cares? Is the idea that if you haven’t been a complacent lickspittle your entire life you can’t be a Supreme Court justice? Anyway, I think you can see why Taylor regards Alito as a centrist.
And as a coda, we have Goldfarb riffing on Taylor — wow, that’s splitting the atom of hackery. I suppose it’s possible that Sotomayor being permitted to lead a seminar while Goldfarb wasn’t is evidence of “special treatment.” Or it could be another piece of evidence that Sotomayor is roughly ten thousand times smarter than Goldfarb. I’ll leave it to you to evaluate the evidence on that one…