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Stuart Taylor: Sotomayor Not Just a Student Radical, but an Uppity Minority Female

Via Atrios and Adam Serwer at the American Prospect, Stuart Taylor, Jr., of the oh-so-overpriced-respected National Journal has decided to delve into Sonia Sotomayor’s undergraduate student days in hopes of derailing her Supreme Court nomination:

Princeton University was guilty of "an institutional pattern of discrimination" against Chicanos and Puerto Ricans, then-sophomore Sonia Sotomayor wrote in a letter published in the May 10, 1974 edition of the student newspaper, The Daily Princetonian. [. . .]

. . . Sotomayor’s parents had moved from Puerto Rico to New York in search of better opportunities. Those opportunities ultimately came to include her admission to the university that she so sharply attacked. [. . .]

. . . Some may see the fact that Princeton awarded Sotomayor a summa cum laude degree and the prestigious Pyne Prize when she graduated in 1976 as evidence of her unparalleled brilliance in overcoming a "total absence of regard, concern, and respect" for people such as her.

And some 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.

Wow. Personally, I look forward to Mr. Taylor extending his investigation of Ms. Sotomayor’s past into her junior high school years. Really, why stop at a letter she wrote when she was 19? Surely she did something earlier in her teens that would disqualify her even more!

Also, although my windbag-to-English translation book isn’t handy at the moment, I wonder what "she was predisposed to look for the worst, not the best, in the institution that had afforded her such opportunities" really means to Taylor — perhaps something like, "We let you in — shut up and be grateful"?

Apparently, uppity women and minorities make Mr. Taylor uncomfortable by not knowing their place.

(P.S. In a comment on Taylor’s article, Michael Bérubé notes that current Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito was a "former member of Concerned Alumni of Princeton, the group that was formed as a reaction against the admission of women and minorities in the first place." No doubt the kind of guy Taylor feels is more respectful of the great institution he attended.)

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Swopa has been sharing prescient, if somewhat anal-retentive, analysis and garden-variety mockery with Internet readers since 1995 or so, when he began debunking the fantasies of Clinton-scandal aficionados on Usenet. He is currently esconced as the primary poster at Needlenose (