President Barack Obama, on a roll after his Attorney General floated the idea to the Sunday morning talkie tubes that the Miranda rule should be optional in the War on Terra, had his anonymous spokesperson let loose with the news late this evening that Elena Kagan would be his Supreme Court pick to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
Elena Kagan, a Clinton era leftover,former Dean of Harvard Law School, and current Solicitor General, would be the 3rd female on the Supreme Court at the same time, which presumably would signal the Beginning of the End Times for certain fundamentalists. Kagan has never been a judge.
Like most things in the Obama administration which start out sounding wonderful, there has to be a catch:
Her nomination is unlikely to cause a damaging fight in the Senate ahead of congressional mid-term elections in November or distract the Obama administration from other issues like jobs, financial regulation and climate change legislation.
Has plenty of ties to Obama and his administration. In addition to being solicitor general, was hired by chief White House economics adviser Larry Summers to be dean of Harvard Law School. And while at the University of Chicago, Kagan tried to recruit Obama — then a part-time lecturer in constitutional law — to a full-time job in academia.
*** Seven Republicans voted for her confirmation: Coburn (OK), Collins (ME), Gregg (NH), Hatch (UT), Kyl (AZ), Lugar (IN), Snowe (ME). Newly minted Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter voted against her.
Won praise — from both liberals and conservatives — during her tenure as dean of Harvard Law. Hired some of the best law professors in the country, including Obama friend (and administration official) Cass Sunstein of the University of Chicago.
Larry Summers, Orin Hatch, and Cass Sunstein. It’s like the Bermuda Triangle.
And Arlen Specter doesn’t like her, but remember, the Tea Party hates Arlen Specter.
One reason why she’s the nominee:
Yesterday, I read everything Elena Kagan has ever published. It didn’t take long: in the nearly 20 years since Kagan became a law professor, she’s published very little academic scholarship- three law review articles, along with a couple of shorter essays and two brief book reviews. Somehow, Kagan got tenure at Chicago in 1995 on the basis of a single article in The Supreme Court Review-a scholarly journal edited by Chicago’s own faculty-and a short essay in the school’s law review.
…. joining Harvard as a visiting professor of law in 1999. While there she published two articles, but since receiving tenure from Harvard in 2001 (and becoming dean of the law school in 2003) she has published nothing. (While it’s true law school deans often do little scholarly writing during their terms, Kagan is remarkable both for how little she did in the dozen years prior to becoming Harvard’s dean, and for never having written anything intended for a more general audience, either before or after taking that position.)
Kagan’s handful of publications touch on topics like regulating offensive speech, analyzing legislative motivations for speech regulations, and evaluating the process of administrative law-making. But on the vast majority of issues before the Court, Kagan has no stated opinion. Her scholarship provides no clues regarding how she would rule on such crucial contemporary issues as the scope of the president’s power in wartime, the legality of torture, or the ability of Congress to rein in campaign spending by corporations.