Harvard’s Elena Kagan Nominated by President Obama

Filed in Featured, Local News, Politics by on May 12, 2010 0 Comments
Kagan Meets with Obama

Kagan Meets with Obama

To be in politics in this country you really have to want it.  The Supreme Court really isn’t supposed to be so political but the confirmation process is usually so painful you would think you were running to be president.  Solicitor General Kagan who has been nominated by President Obama to fill a vacancy in the Supreme Court is finding out that even when opponents can’t find anything to put you in a box (too liberal, conservative…) they will criticize you for not being criticism worthy!

There are many articles being written on her lack of judicial experience and an absence of substantial evidence regarding her views.  It is true that the next justice can play a very important role given all of the issues that may reach the supreme court in the next few years to a decade.  From Health Care reform challenges by states to Immigration Reform the Supreme Court is destined to play a big role in some of the defining issues of our time.

No one is saying that they should not put Kagan through the appropriate “grilling” but sadly opponents tend to rely on scare tactics and borderline discriminatory remarks.  The biggest target so far is Kagan’s stance on the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy of the military.  When she was Dean of the Harvard Law School she ended up banning military recruiters from campus.  What is not being communicated though is the path to that decision and the fact that Kagan is not anti-military at all.  The Boston Globe did a good piece this morning that shows the chronology of events.  They also interview Harvard Law Graduate who is currently serving in Afghanistan who supports her nomination and said she was supportive of his desire to serve.

An interesting op ed piece I read on Kagan’s nomination actually had me laughing at one point.  David Brooks from the New York Times criticized Kagan for being too organized with her life and her career!  How dare she??!  Apparently someone decided to classify a group of students at elite colleges like Harvard of being the “Organization Kids”.  These Organization Kids had a plan for exactly what they wanted to be and managed their life and career to get them there.  In other circles that would be called career planning something that can make or break your career.  Having a background in advising job hunters I find the “insult” laughable.  Yes it appears that Kagan had aspirations for being a Supreme Court Justice for a long time.  Whether she studied specifically what not to say or do to get nominated and even further confirmed is irrelevant since being prepared is part applying for a job.

If you want to blame anyone for her desire to be prepared blame the confirmation process which rewards ambiguity and punishes extreme views.  If you really think about it though the point of a Supreme Court Justice is not to be extreme.  The job is to be fair in combination with applying the law, particularly Constitutional Law.

Here is a video that came out of the White House with Kagan “in her own words”.

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