Stuart S. Taylor, Jr. is an author and freelance journalist focusing on legal, policy and political issues, contributing editor for National Journal, and nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution. He is co-authoring (with UCLA law professor Richard Sander) a book on affirmative action and recently finished teaching “Law and the News Media” at Stanford Law School.
Taylor has also covered the Supreme Court and other matters for The New York Times, Newsweek, and other publications and has appeared on all major television and radio networks, including PBS, ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, Fox, Court TV, C-Span, NPR, and several abroad, winning various journalism awards. He coauthored, with KC Johnson, a critically acclaimed 2007 book, Until Proven Innocent: Political Correctness and the Shameful Injustices of the Duke Lacrosse Rape Case. He has contributed chapters to books on subjects ranging from the Supreme Court to terrorism and civil liberties and is now coauthoring a book on affirmative action.
Taylor graduated from Princeton University in 1970 with an A.B. in History. After working as a reporter for the BaltimoreEvening Sun and Sun from 1971-1974, he moved to Harvard Law School, serving as a note editor for the Harvard Law Review, graduating in 1977 with high honors, and winning the Fay Diploma for ranking first in his class. He also won a Frederick Sheldon Traveling Fellowship, which he used to travel around the world during the academic year 1977-1978 while studying freedom of the press in the United Kingdom and Kenya.
Taylor practiced law with Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering from 1978-1980. He joined the New York Times Washington Bureau in 1980, covering legal affairs from 1980-1985 and the Supreme Court from 1985-1988. Since then he has written commentary and in-depth magazine articles from 1989-1997 for The American Lawyer, Legal Times and their affiliates; a weekly opinion column for National Journal from 1998 until June 2010; and numerous articles since 1998 as a Newsweek contributing editor. He has also written for The Atlantic, Slate, The New Republic, Harper’s, Reader’s Digest, and other magazines while writing occasional commentaries for The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Los Angeles Times.
Taylor's journalism honors include the 2009 Northern California Innocence Project Media Award for his work on the Duke lacrosse rape fraud; a 2002 National Headliner Award for best special magazine column on one subject; a 1988 New York Times nomination for a Pulitzer Prize for Supreme Court coverage; a share of The American Lawyer’s National Magazine Award for a March 1990 special issue on the drug war; becoming a National Magazine Award finalist in 1993 and 1997; the 1991 Golden Quill Award for Excellence in Editorial Writing; and a 1990 Penn State School of Communications citation for Improving Journalism Through Critical Evaluation.
Among those who have highly praised Taylor's Duke lacrosse book are columnists George Will, Michael Kinsley, and Clarence Page; novelist John Grisham; ACLU President Nadine Strossen; former Attorney General William Barr; book reviewers for the Times, the Journal, the Economist, and Newsweek, among others; and (in private conversations) more than one Supreme Court justice.
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