John Paul Stevens
President Obama called arguments against Supreme Court Justice nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation “pretty thin gruel.”
That’s funny—I call no judicial experience and scant, conflicting legal theorizing in print “a short stack of hotcakes.”
We know little of Kagan’s judicial philosophy—and may know even less after her hearings this week if she has any say in the matter—but what little we know isn’t to like. In fact, it’s enough to hold our noses at.
Kagan wrote in her master’s thesis at Oxford that “[J]udges will often try to mold and steer the law in order to promote certain ethical values and achieve certain social ends. Such activity is not necessarily wrong or invalid.” Years later, when challenged on these remarks, she brushed them aside, claiming she was just a “dumb” 23-year-old at the time. (Question: Was Obama just a dumb 45-year-old when he was still attending Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s racist sermons at Trinity United Church of Christ?)
Kagan once paraphrased her boss Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall’s view that interpretation of the Constitution “demanded that the courts show a special solicitude for the despised and disadvantaged.” Great! Does that mean she’s on the side of corporations (the despised) and inner-city residents who want to protect themselves with handguns from break-ins (the disadvantaged)?
That’s probably a no on corporations, since as Obama’s solicitor general Kagan argued the losing position in the Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (2010) case. Kagan argued that corporate-sponsored pamphlets and posters could be banned before elections, because they violate campaign finance regulations. She also claimed with a straight face that it was OK to ban books containing endorsements of candidates for public office before elections, because the FEC won’t actually enforce the ban. read more »