Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Elena Kagan: Cool, calm, collected--and confusing the Republicans

 Disclaimer: Once again I will clarify that I am not registered with any political party.  If it ever seems like I am bashing YOUR party, it's probably because I think they are doing something wrong.  You and I are both entitled to our own opinions, so feel free to comment (tastefully of course) on any post for any reason.  Also, I know the article I'm citing is from Slate, and I acknowledge that they are an extremely liberal news source, but they have beautiful writing, and no matter what source you check, the commentary is pretty consistent across the board on this subject.  Hope you understand where I'm coming from with all this :] and if you're a Republican, I show you guys some love sometimes too, check out the post just prior to this one, in which I lovingly bash the liberal environmental agenda :]] .  It's FUN to be non-partisan!

Finally a female I can identify with!  Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's Congressional confirmation hearings have been going pretty well compared to those of past justices--she has handled the questioning with tact, style, and sometimes even a little attitude, reciting case law like poetry and not leaving herself open to mudslinging of any kind.  Usually the SCOTUS hearings put a microscope on the nominee, causing him or her to become complacent and noncommittal on partisan issues, but Kagan has stood by her values the entire time and made it very clear that she is not a player in the political game, but rather an educated servant of the law.  This, combined with President Obama's endorsement and Kagan's so-called "gay agenda", is causing a bit of Republican protest, although the opposition in this case is thankfully the minority, and even though most of her topics of interest seem to come from the left, she doesn't discuss partisan agendas.  At all.  (And if you still think gay rights is part of a liberal agenda, keep dreaming, it's called civil rights, people.)

What the conservative legislators want more than anything is for Kagan to expose herself as a liberal activist with radical views so they can classify her as "dangerous" to the Supreme Court, but she's much too smart for that.  Kagan has enough "radical" politics on her resume already--her ban of military recruiters at Harvard Law School over the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy has garnered unbelievable opposition from the right wing (for two very obvious reasons).  However, when questioned about it at the hearing, she was eloquent, stating that she was simply attempting to balance the school's nondiscrimination policy with federal equal access policies, and as a result allowed the recruiters to conduct their business through a Student Veterans' Organization rather than the school itself.  Beautiful.  This woman can cross-check policy with the best of them, unlike most legislators/politicians of today.  Her explanations of her beliefs and actions are all based on existing laws, and she has proven that she can properly apply the laws to create solutions to problems.  Not surprisingly, Republicans are probably confused as to why they can't get her to say anything incriminating like they've gotten all the past justices to say, but I think in time they will also learn to love the honesty and judicial patriotism she brings to the table. 

To me, Elena Kagan represents what a good Supreme Court Justice should be.  Intelligent, strong-willed, and non-partisan, she has gained the respect and adoration of countless colleagues in the legal community and even the President himself.  She refuses to fall into illogical party-ploy traps, even when questioned on controversial issues.  Plus, she's a unique human being with a slightly kooky sense of humor, which she's not afraid to use even in front of Congress.  I guess you could say she's my new role model--after all, I'm hoping to get my name on that nominee list someday, and as a non-feminist, this is the first time in my life I've ever read a news article and said to myself, "YOU GO GIRL" (ew, I still can't believe I said that, please don't tell anyone).  Although she'll probably never read it (aww), I'll use this blog to give early congratulations to The Honorable Elena Kagan!  May your time on the bench be a time of judicial prosperity in our broken government.

PS--A C-SPAN poll reported that only 19% of Americans even know that this is going on right now...WHAT?!  I guess that means I'm the weirdest college kid in the country...I really probably should be doing something fun, it's summer after all.




  1. I find it interesting that conservatives are so concerned about her being an activist after the last few decisions handed down by SCOTUS! Sadly the C-Span poll doesn't surprise me at all. The next poll should ask, "What role does SCOTUS play in our government?"

  2. Haha seriously! The other day I talked to someone my age who didn't even know who was running for governor :(