Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Obama's second SCOTUS nominee, Elena Kagan, heads to The Hill today for her first grilling.

Much has been made of her "lack of paper trail" and that she is not a judge (I'd point out that O'Connor wasn't a judge until she was appointed to SCOTUS either), so I did some sniffing around for the "body of work" that people claim she lacks and found Volokh article. Though I disagree with Volokh on many issues (despite the fact that I can't hold a candle to his arguments!), I at least trust his analysis and find that 90% of the time, he makes spot-on, in-depth remarks (for instance, I disagreed with his rant about racial IQ differences).

Of Kagan, Volokh says:

[Elena Kagan's]articles go behind glib generalizations and formalistic distinctions and deal with the actual reality on the ground, such as the actual likely effects of speech restrictions, and of First Amendment doctrine...This is legal scholarship as it should be, and as it too rarely is.
He disagrees with her 1st amendment works, ultimately, but admires them for their clarity of argument.

I bet, however, we don't get that line of questioning from teh august body of Congress. I bet we get a lot of "why do you hate the military" and "are you teh ghey."


Rickey Henderson 10:03 AM  

Rickey would like to think that reasonable members of the GOP won't toss up the picture of Kagan playing softball and ask her if she's related to Nathan Lane due to the resemblance she bears to him... The fringe pundits most definitely will however.

Smitty 10:05 AM  

related to Nathan Lane

Holy fuck, Rickey is right. The resemblance is uncanny.

Rickey Henderson 12:11 PM  

Damn right, Rickey's right.

It'll make the confirmation hearings a helluva lot better if she breaks out into show tunes mid sentence.

And Senators, if I may address the issue of gay right by saying...

I feel pretty,
Oh, so pretty,
I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity....
Any girl who isn't me tonight!

I feel charming,
Oh, so charming
It's alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty
That I hardly can believe I'm real!

Smitty 12:23 PM  

breaks out into show tunes

I have been hoping for the new smash Broadway hit: Confirmation Hearings, The Musical.

Rickey Henderson 1:33 PM  

Now that would be serious fun. By the way, where'd the rest of the ATK crew vanish to? It's quiet here. Too quiet.

Smitty 2:40 PM  

where'd the rest of the ATK crew vanish to?

A couple of them had sudden employer issues, whereby access to this blog was, out of the blue, blocked.

I am working with a lawyer on 1st amendment issues.

Rickey Henderson 3:04 PM  

Argh, that stinks. Tell 'em to try installing Firefox. It's usually pretty good at evading company filters.

Monk-in-Training 5:37 AM  

Ha, well my response is somewhat more ...muted.. than say Smitty's, I am kinda amazed at the likeness to Nathan Lane! ;)


Anonymous,  2:38 PM  

Never put off till tomorrow what may be done today................................................................

steves 2:45 PM  

By the way, where'd the rest of the ATK crew vanish to?

I just got back from a out of town conference for work. I don't have any major issues with Kagan. Her lack of judicial experience will be an issue to some, but that seems like a reasonable critique. I don't tend to agree, though. I think that a person can be a good judge without having been a judge. She is certainly a well-respected scholar and is very intelligent.

I don't agree with her on everything, but I see her as a mildly liberal moderate on most issues.

I bet, however, we don't get that line of questioning from teh august body of Congress. I bet we get a lot of "why do you hate the military" and "are you teh ghey."

I know they are mandated by the Constitution, but I am going to go out on a limb and say that congressional hearings for court nominees are next to useless. Going back to the 1980's and the first hearings I remember really paying attention to, they have been mostly a forum for bullshit grandstanding and asinine questions from both sides of the aisle. Occasionally, there are some intelligent questions, but I can't seem to find any.

The ABA published an interview from outgoing Justice Stevens and he opined that nominees shouldn't be asked about how they would vote on certain issues. As much as I disagree with Stevens, he is correct on this topic. Asking a judge to say how s/he would vote on some topic without some kind of context is just irresponsible.

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