May 10, 2010

Left/Right Consensus on Kagan?

Right: Ed Whelan
Kagan has argued that the Senate should carefully explore a nominee's views on judicial philosophy generally and on hotly contested constitutional issues in particular. Her argument has special force for someone who has been so guarded about her own views.
Left: Glenn Greenwald
The most important point to note about Kagan now is the one highlighted this weekend by Talk Left's Armando, as first reported by The Los Angeles Times: in 1995, Kagan condemned the Supreme Court confirmation process as "a vapid and hollow charade" and an "embarrassment," arguing that Senators should "insist that any nominee reveal what kind of Justice she would make, by disclosing her views on important legal issues." Kagan should absolutely be held to her own position in that regard. Her argument that nominees should be compelled to answer such questions was absolutely right, and that's especially applicable to Kagan in light of her own glaring lack of a real record on virtually everything. She ought to be held to her own position and "reveal what kind of Justice she would make" and "disclose her views on important legal issues."
It will be interesting to see what tactic she takes to wiggle out of her prior remarks and whether any Senators will hold her feet to the fire.

UPDATE: Et tu New York Times?
The White House undoubtedly hopes the ellipses in Ms. Kagan’s record will help her avoid a rocky confirmation hearing. That expedient approach, unfortunately, reflects the widespread sentiment that the right holds the upper hand in judicial debates, forcing the left to duck and cower. But in one of Ms. Kagan’s few forcefully stated positions, she wrote in 1995 that she detests “polite and restrained” confirmation hearings, calling them a “vapid and hollow charade” and urging senators to fully explore a court nominee’s substantive views. We hope the Senate follows her advice and gets Ms. Kagan to open up a little.

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