Who cares what Stuart Taylor thinks?

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

National Journal's Stuart Taylor doesn't think much of Sonia Sotomayor (for now; he's already had to admit that some of his pre-selection criticisms of Sotomayor were "unfair.")

But it has long been clear that Stuart Taylor should not be taken seriously.

See, in 1996, Taylor wrote a buzz-generating article for American Lawyer arguing that Paula Jones had a strong case against Bill Clinton.

In fact, it was obvious that Paula Jones had no case against Bill Clinton. Not because it was obvious Jones was lying, but because -- as Judge Susan Webber Wright ultimately ruled -- even if everything Jones said was true, she had no "genuine issues" worthy of trial. Jones hadn't even alleged any tangible harm that she suffered as a result of Clinton's alleged advances.

So, it isn't just that Taylor was wrong in his assessment of Jones' case, it's that he was spectacularly wrong. Taylor thought Jones had a strong case; the judge ruled that Jones had no case whatsoever. That even if everything she said was true (even the things that contradicted each other) she simply did not have a valid lawsuit.

So why on earth would anyone ever trust Stuart Taylor's judgment?

Now, let's add a couple more facts to the mix: while he was touting Paula Jones' non-existent case against the president, he was referring to Clinton aides as his "cronies," suggesting a certain lack of impartiality. Worse, Taylor was negotiating for a job in Ken Starr's office while appearing on television and in print to offer supposedly neutral assessments of Starr's investigation.

So why on earth would anyone ever trust Stuart Taylor's impartiality?

UPDATE: Adam Serwer dismantles Taylor's assessment of Sotomayor. Here's a taste:

What people like Taylor find so offensive about Sotomayor's statement is that it properly exposes the perspective of white, Christian heterosexual men as specific to their experience, rather than the omniscient eye of G-d they're used to presenting it as. Does anyone seriously believe Dred Scott or Plessy v. Fergueson would have been upheld by any court that had the remotest idea of what it was like to be black or a slave? Or similarly that the court would have held in Minor v. Happersett that being a citizen didn't mean you had a right to vote if you were a woman? Do we really believe that judges in these cases were "simply upholding the law" in the absence of the cultural and social prejudices of their times?

Go read the rest.

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