Justice Kagan confirmed

 Posted by at 15:17  Politics
Aug 052010

Kagan confirmed as Supreme Court justice

WASHINGTON — The Senate has confirmed Elena Kagan to be the fourth woman ever to serve as a Supreme Court justice.

The Senate approved President Barack Obama’s nominee Thursday by a vote of 63-37. Kagan’s addition to the court marks the first time three female justices have served concurrently.

Nearly all Democrats, the Senate’s two independents, and a handful of Republicans backed her.

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire, and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine supported her. Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska voted in opposition to Kagan’s confirmation.

Elena Kagan
Elena Kagan

63 to 37. Not bad given the toxic political environment currently being nurtured and promoted by our Republicans. Samuel Alito was confirmed by a vote of 58 to 42. Clarence Thomas’ tally was 52 to 48.

Justice Kagan will be sworn in Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Supreme Court.

Supreme hearings day two

 Posted by at 20:01  Politics
Jun 302010

I made time today to watch a portion of the second day of a bunch of half-senile old white men badgering the person who is almost certain to become the next Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

I was, I have to say, a little disappointed. Not in the half-senile old white men. They performed exactly as expected. I was a little disappointed in the nominee herself, Elena Kagan. She seemed to be pandering to the half-senile old white men, striving mightily to say what she thought they wanted to hear. There were a lot of “ums” and “ahs” and “I don’t knows.” She appeared fearful to identify herself as liberal or progressive (if indeed she is either of those… I have seen no proof as yet that she actually is).

I found myself silently screaming at the television (I could not literally scream as there were others in the room) while Senator Grassley was questioning her about the ill conceived and poorly named Defense of Marriage Act. She should have answered him truthfully, stating that it was a bad law and should never had been passed by Congress or signed by President Clinton. She should have patiently and clearly explained to Mr. Grassley that DOMA was (and is) unconstitutional and would have been immediately struck down by a Supreme Court not driven by ideology.

Elena Kagan will be the next Supreme Court Justice. From what I have seen of her thus far, I don’t think she will be the Justice the Democrats are hoping she will be.

As much as I dislike and consistently disagree with Lindsey Graham, I think he got it right today:

“I certainly have an agenda when it comes to abortion. I respect the courts, but I’m trying to push the rights of the unborn in a respectful way. You can be pro-choice and be just as patriotic as I am; you can be just as religious as anybody I know. But that’s the point here: it is okay as an advocate to have an agenda. I think Alito and Roberts had an agenda. They were working for a conservative president who was pushing conservative policies. So it just is a bit disturbing that you, quite frankly, say you don’t have an agenda when you should have had. If I’m going to hire you to be my lawyer, I want you to have my agenda. I want it to be my agenda.”

There is nothing wrong with Ms. Kagan having an agenda. She should have an agenda and she should have the courage to own up to that agenda. Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia have certainly made no secret of their agenda.

Impartial Supremes

 Posted by at 14:54  Politics, Republicans
Jun 272010

I got a good laugh out of this Associated Press article that hit the wires a couple of hours ago…

GOP senators: Can Kagan be impartial judge?

WASHINGTON (AP) – Leading Republican senators on Sunday questioned whether Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan could be an impartial judge as they tried to inject some drama into her upcoming confirmation hearing.

Democrats praised Kagan’s record and predicted she will win confirmation as the 112th justice – and only the court’s fourth woman.

The Senate Judiciary Committee begins the weeklong hearing on Monday. Kagan is not expected to face questions until Tuesday.

Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, the top Republican on the committee, said Kagan’s nomination has “real problems” that she will have to address.

“I think the first thing we need to decide is, is she committed to the rule of law even if she may not like the law? Will she as a judge subordinate herself to the Constitution and keep her political views at bay?” Sessions said.

Yes, Senator Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III of Alabama, I do believe Elena Kagan will be committed to the rule of law and that she will “subordinate” (interesting word choice) herself to the Constitution and keep her political views at bay. Now a question for you, sir. Do you believe that Justices Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia meet those standards? Because I don’t.

And, of course, John Cornyn of Texas had to go and make a fool of himself. Again.

Cornyn said the hearings could be as much about President Barack Obama as his high court nominee. “Clearly this president is trying to get somebody through who has a very sparse record and who he believes will be a reliable vote on the left wing of the United States Supreme Court,” Cornyn said.

No, John, I would expect a Democratic president, duly elected by the people of the United States of America, to nominate a Supreme Court Justice who would be a reliable vote for the right wing of the United States Supreme Court. I would expect him to nominate another Justice in the mold of Roberts, Alito, Thomas and Scalia. You blooming idiot. As for Ms. Kagan’s sparse record…

She served as Harvard law dean and as a White House aide and lawyer in the Clinton administration sandwiched in between stints as a law professor at the University of Chicago and Harvard. Kagan earlier was a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Not to mention her service as Solicitor General under President Obama.

Would you (or could you) perhaps name all the Justices who have served on the Supreme Court who had no judicial experience prior to their appointment to that court? Go ahead, John, google it. We’ll wait.

The coming weeks are going to be fun. It is going to be enjoyable watching these Republican senators make fools of themselves as they face the superior intellect of Elena Kagan.

Elena Kagan for Supreme Court

 Posted by at 09:34  Politics
May 102010

President Barack Obama has nominated the current Solicitor General of the United States, Elena Kagan, to serve as a Justice on the Supreme Court. This is President Obama’s second nomination to the Court, following his selection of Justice Sonia Sotomayor last year. The announcement from the White House may be read here.

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan

At just 50 years of age, Ms. Kagan will be the youngest member of the Court.

Video of President Obama’s and General Kagan’s remarks from this morning will be posted as it becomes available.

UPDATE: Video as promised:

Transcript following break.

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