Saturday, July 3, 2010

Confirm Elena Kagan

The Washington Post
Sunday, July 4, 2010

OVER THE COURSE of her Supreme Court confirmation hearing, Elena Kagan showed herself to be an intellectually gifted person with an impressive grasp of a wide array of legal matters. She exhibited an admirable judicial temperament that allowed her to stay cool and engaged despite at times hostile questioning. The former Harvard Law School dean and current U.S. solicitor general should be confirmed, and by a wide margin.
Like so many nominees of the modern era, Ms. Kagan often resorted to legal sleight of hand by providing nonresponsive answers that obscured rather than clarified her views on specific issues. This was true whether she was discussing the Commerce Clause and health-care reform, same-sex marriage, gun rights, or the First Amendment and campaign finance restrictions. This was understandable: It is important that judges not commit to votes in advance; they must keep an open mind and decide cases only on the specifics of the controversy before them. Yet the process was not useless in that it gave senators and the public a sense of Ms. Kagan's intellect and mastery of the subject matter.

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