Actually, Wikipedia now describes Thomas as, "a leading American socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America."
There are a few problems with the potential tempest in a teapot that such a citation may stir up during the Judge's confirmation hearings.
First off, catching this socialist quotation is just a "gotcha" moment, not a serious review of any of the Judge's political attitudes.
But more to the point, we have a theory about how the Judge got this quotation.
The end of the Wikipedia entry on Thomas notes that a dedicatory plaque in the Norman Thomas '05 Library at Princeton University's Forbes college reads:
Norman M. Thomas, class of 1905.The Judge's use of this quotation cuts two ways with us. First it suggests to us that she scrambled for a last minute quote for her yearbook entry and picked one from the wall of a library.
"I am not the champion of lost causes,
but the champion of causes not yet won."
But then, on the positive side, this confirms to us that Sotomayor was one of those students at Princeton who actually entered a library. As this professor can attest, many students he's taught did not know where any of their campus libraries were located.
But then again, this small library is in the Forbes residential college; it is not Princeton's main library. The Norman Thomas 1905 Library at Forbes College, "Contains a general collection, reference books and periodicals, as well as an extensive science fiction collection."
Admittedly, there are plenty of problems with our library-plaque-quotation theory. We don't know if there was a library at that residential college in 1976. And we don't know if there was a plaque up during that time. Prior to 1984 (from 1970 to 1983) the college was called the Princeton Inn College, and its residents were called "Innmates." We further don't know if Sotomayor was a resident of that college. It's a weak theory.
So, having explored all that, let the confirmation hearing socialist quotation gotchas begin.