It's Solictor General Elena Kagan for SCOTUS

Rick Moran
The Harvard Law School Dean who kicked military recruiters off campus has been chosen by President Obama to fill the Supreme Court vacancy precipitated by the retirement of Justice John Paul Stephens.

Here's some cold comfort - it could have been worse. But as Ed Lasky points out in this blurb, it cannot be said that we are getting a judge whose views are anything except the usual hard core liberal nonsense:
[I]n Justice Marshall's view, constitutional interpretation demanded, above all else, one thing from the courts: it demanded that the courts show a special solicitude for the despised and disadvantaged. It was the role of the courts, in interpreting the Constitution, to protect the people who went unprotected by every other organ of government -- to safeguard the interests of people who had no other champion.'

Kagan will be a hard target to hit. She never served on the bench so she has no decisions to pick apart. And since she wasn't a scholar, she has no papers where we can discover her feelings about any issue that might come before the court.

This makes for what apparently will be an easy confirmation:

Yet Kagan is highly unusual in one way - she has never been a judge. It's the first time in nearly four decades that someone would join the court, if confirmed, without any prior judicial experience. The last to do so was William Rehnquist, who went on to become chief justice. And that lack of experience - and the absence of a readily available paper trail of legal arguments and decisions - has some on the left, in particular, nervous about whether she is the kind of down-the-line liberal that they dreamed Obama would appoint. In addition, she has centrist bona fides from her work in the Clinton administration's domestic policy shop, and has drawn worries from the left over her apparent willingness to give some Bush administration war-on-terror tools to the Obama White House.

One commentator, The Nation's Ari Melber, told POLITICO: "As a lawyer, I think there is no doubt that: 1. Kagan is supremely qualified and merits confirmation by any standard. 2. Replacing [Justice John Paul] Stevens with Kagan moves the court to the right. Ergo, 3. The sum consequence of Obama's first term appointments will be to advance qualified nominees through a respectable selection process that ultimately tilts the court a bit more to the right. Not the end of the world, but not what most Obama voters had in mind, either."

A tilt to the right? Really? What Melber is complaining about is that Kagan isn't a far left nutjob. Her selection will hardly make the court more right wing in the sense that its decisions will be more in keeping with first principles and constitutional tradition. But since Stephens himself was a liberal, all we're doing is trading one lefty for another.

The GOP will probably grumble a little, but in the end, vote to sit her. There isn't much to be done as long as Obama is president and picking new justices.





The Harvard Law School Dean who kicked military recruiters off campus has been chosen by President Obama to fill the Supreme Court vacancy precipitated by the retirement of Justice John Paul Stephens.

Here's some cold comfort - it could have been worse. But as Ed Lasky points out in this blurb, it cannot be said that we are getting a judge whose views are anything except the usual hard core liberal nonsense:
[I]n Justice Marshall's view, constitutional interpretation demanded, above all else, one thing from the courts: it demanded that the courts show a special solicitude for the despised and disadvantaged. It was the role of the courts, in interpreting the Constitution, to protect the people who went unprotected by every other organ of government -- to safeguard the interests of people who had no other champion.'

Kagan will be a hard target to hit. She never served on the bench so she has no decisions to pick apart. And since she wasn't a scholar, she has no papers where we can discover her feelings about any issue that might come before the court.

This makes for what apparently will be an easy confirmation:

Yet Kagan is highly unusual in one way - she has never been a judge. It's the first time in nearly four decades that someone would join the court, if confirmed, without any prior judicial experience. The last to do so was William Rehnquist, who went on to become chief justice.

And that lack of experience - and the absence of a readily available paper trail of legal arguments and decisions - has some on the left, in particular, nervous about whether she is the kind of down-the-line liberal that they dreamed Obama would appoint. In addition, she has centrist bona fides from her work in the Clinton administration's domestic policy shop, and has drawn worries from the left over her apparent willingness to give some Bush administration war-on-terror tools to the Obama White House.

One commentator, The Nation's Ari Melber, told POLITICO: "As a lawyer, I think there is no doubt that: 1. Kagan is supremely qualified and merits confirmation by any standard. 2. Replacing [Justice John Paul] Stevens with Kagan moves the court to the right. Ergo, 3. The sum consequence of Obama's first term appointments will be to advance qualified nominees through a respectable selection process that ultimately tilts the court a bit more to the right. Not the end of the world, but not what most Obama voters had in mind, either."

A tilt to the right? Really? What Melber is complaining about is that Kagan isn't a far left nutjob. Her selection will hardly make the court more right wing in the sense that its decisions will be more in keeping with first principles and constitutional tradition. But since Stephens himself was a liberal, all we're doing is trading one lefty for another.

The GOP will probably grumble a little, but in the end, vote to sit her. There isn't much to be done as long as Obama is president and picking new justices.