Solicitor General Elena Kagan has been nominated, OFFICIALLY, to the Supreme Court to replace Justice Stevens and is now in her second day of Confirmation Hearings. Now, doesn’t it seem odd that no one seems to be able to identify anything about her? Perhaps, that is not such a bad thing. The enemy, a.k.a. the opposition will not have any thing to twist and lie about during confirmation hearings and during the evening news. But, what about something positive to celebrate and share that her proponents can wave about? We can’t even do that. The sword cuts both ways. Not only can we not find a fault, but we cannot find any positive reason to put her on the bench. Much was made about her being selected for solicitor general when she had never argued a case before the Supreme Court before. Who knows if that is a flaw? She did do a piss poor job losing the Citizens United case where corporations, previously, had a limit on campaign donations. This 100 year precedent has been overturned. That does not smell like success to me. She gave our democracy away.
As for her resume, which the MacLaughin Group laid out so clearly for me:
BA Princeton, MA Oxford, JD, Harvard
Court Clerk Circuit Court Judge Mikva – 1 year
Court Clerk Justice Thurgood Marshall – 1 year
Attorney Williams and Connolly – 2 years
Professor University of Chicago Law – 4 years (a contemporary of Barack Obama)
Associate Counsel Clinton Administration – 4 years
Professor Harvard Law – 4 years
Dean Harvard Law – 6 years
Solicitor General – 16 mos- currently.
There had been a lot of criticism about her views on affirmative action and diversity. Roland Martin of CNN mentioned during her tenure at HLS, she did not hire any professors who were people of color. Here, someone didn’t do their research – as Dean she didn’t hiring power. Anecdotally, through a friend I have heard the students really liked Kagan as Dean because she greatly improved the quality of life on campus.
There have been rumors about her sexual orientation. She’s a lesbian. So what? This is not a negative nor is it relevant nor is it anyone’s business if she is or isn’t.
Basically, everything you can think of to degrade someone in the public eye has been hurled at her from one corner of the blogosphere to the Fox News newsroom (if they have one of those): Pat Buchanan insisted her not having written a book renders unqualified to hold the post. Really? There has been mention of her undergraduate thesis which evaluated the state of socialism in New York City as the smoking gun for why she is unqualified. Again, who cares?! While I wouldn’t hold her lack of courtroom experience against her because – after all – she has passed the bar and has taught the law for quite some time; I understand the impulse to understand her views. But, again, it should not become some sort of a litmus test the way the Republicans harassed Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
What I would like to know is what her relationship is with President Obama? They were contemporaries on the faculty at University of Chicago Law School. Did he pick her because she’s his friend and he knows her? Whatever.
I am not excited about her.