Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Elena Kagan is a woman who banned ROTC from campus when she ran Harvard Law School and discontinued the teaching of the constitution as mandatory preparation for being a Harvard trained lawyer. I will concede the point that she is experienced. She did argue cases before the Supreme Court. She did get a law degree herself.
I don't blame her for trying to get on the Supreme Court. Why not try? It's a lifetime job with lots of prestige. You get long vacations if you get accepted. It's a nice gig.
What I do resent is the Senators who are supposedly questioning her throwing her softball questions, practically pleading with her to tell sweet lies that are good for putting a troubled conscience to sleep.
When the Democrats had a chance to question a Republican nominee, they grilled him. So thorough were the Democrats in doing so that they turned "Bork" into a verb Encarta defines "bork" as follows.
"block Senate confirmation of judicial candidate: to deny Senate confirmation of a nominee, especially for a U.S. Supreme Court or federal judgeship, by use of sustained public disparagement ( slang ) [Late 20th century. After Judge Robert H. Bork, whose confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1987 was blocked in this way]
There is always the weary sense of certainty that Supreme Court nominees will be rubber stamped by the Senate, unless they are nominated by Republicans.
It can be argued that the Supreme Court is more influential than the Congress or the President. They can strike down laws passed by the legislative and executive branches of government. They can sit for decades with no possibility of electoral recall.
A position that is seldom defended is that the intent of the founding fathers should be paramount in deciding constitutional law. A second question is whether decisions rendered in foregn courts should influence American law. Elena Kagan is on record as praising Aharon Barak, an Israeli Supreme Court judge who is notorious for legislating and social engineering from the bench. On that ground alone she should be disqualified.
It is a pity that we think so little of our constitution that we are willing to let blatantly unqualified politically motivated appointments to the Supreme Court pass with little challenge. Barring a miracle of political courage, it looks like the Senate will inflict Elena Kagan on the American people for the duration of her natural life. What a pity. What a disgrace. Sphere: Related Content