Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Being Ruled by My Students:

Interesting column by Michael Barone on the humble background of Judge Alito.

In his opening statement to the Judiciary Committee, Judge Samuel Alito told the senators where he comes from. First, Hamilton Township, N.J., the modest-income suburb of Trenton, where he grew up....Then Alito described Princeton, "a full 12 miles down the road," where he attended college....

I recently traveled through both Hamilton Township and Princeton. The contrast between the million-dollar-plus homes and fancy shops of Princeton and the modest-to-downright-depressing neighborhoods and strip malls of Hamilton Township was stunning. So, too, are the voting figures. Princeton voted 76 percent for John Kerry in 2004. Hamilton Township voted 49.3 percent for George W. Bush and 49.8 percent for Kerry.


[T]o paraphrase William F. Buckley, I think we're better off seeking guidance from the first 100 names in the Hamilton Township phone book than from a random sample of the Princeton faculty. It's comforting that Judge Alito evidently thinks so, too.

Quick note, my mother long was a teacher and then guidance counselor in the public school system which Alito graduated. In fact, she is close friends with Alito's first grade teacher (who knew then he was something special). I teach at the area community college and many of my students are from Hamilton Township. Being ruled by my students. Now that's a scary thought.