Taranto explains the pairings:
One such couple consists of George W. Bush's nominees and one of Barack Obama's, but Toobin mixes up the Reagan and Clinton justices, so that Antonin Scalia is paired with Ruth Bader Ginsburg ("the two oldest Justices," both of whom lived in New York as youngsters) and Anthony Kennedy with Stephen Breyer (who "both sit in similar ways," have bald heads, and were born in Northern California).You'd think a good liberal would be more circumspect about sharing his perception that the one black person does not belong coupled up with any of the others.
Why not pair Scalia and Samuel Alito, a fellow Italian-American native of Trenton, N.J.? Or Scalia and Kennedy, the only sitting justices to be confirmed unanimously? Or Thomas and Sonia Sotomayor, both Yale Law School graduates with minority ethnic backgrounds, and the only justices to have been divorced?
That last hypothetical question holds the answer to them all. Pairing Justice Thomas with any of his colleagues would defeat the purpose of the exercise, which is to end up with him as the odd man out.