Special-edition round-up: Kagan nomination III
This morning, President Obama officially announced his nomination of Elena Kagan to replace Justice Stevens on the Supreme Court. The Associated Press, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, USA Today, the BLT, and JURIST all have coverage of President Obama and General Kagan's comments, which were made at 10 a.m. in the East Room of the White House. (SCOTUSblog live-blogged the announcement, and video is available via C-SPAN.)
Following the President's announcement, many commentators have weighed in on General Kagan's credentials and on the likelihood that she will be confirmed by the Senate. Nina Totenberg, reporting for NPR, covers General Kagan's record, noting her relative lack of a "paper trail" as well as her outspoken opposition to the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy during her tenure at Harvard Law School. At Concurring Opinions, Brandon Bartels discusses the possibility of strong Republican opposition to Kagan as a candidate, while at the Associated Press, Jesse Holland and Julie Hirschfeld Davis argue that the Solicitor General will easily be confirmed this summer, as does Kenneth Jost at Jost on Justice.
Ashby Jones summarizes the prevailing opinions on Kagan's nomination at the WSJ Law Blog, and the BLT has three posts detailing early reactions to the announcement "“ one reporting the response from the Senate and two more examining advocacy groups' reactions. PrawfsBlawg also reports on the reactions of Senators Jeff Sessions and John Cornyn, the WSJ Law Blog's Ashby Jones outlines possible lines of attack against General Kagan's candidacy, and the Ninth Justice reports on initial Senate reactions here, here, and here. The Associated Press (via the Los Angeles Times) and USA Today both report on the reaction of Rep. Joe Sestak, who noted immediately after the nomination that his opponent in the Pennsylvania Senate primary, Senator Arlen Specter, voted last year against Kagan's appointment as Solicitor General.
The Washington Post's Michael Shear writes that, because of her credentials and lack of a controversial record, General Kagan "practically defines legal gravitas," while Chip Reid notes at CBS News that the Administration has clearly identified her leadership skills as a top reason for her nomination. Salon's Glenn Greenwald agrees that Kagan was the "natural choice," but attributes this to her reputation as "a blank slate, institution-loyal, seemingly principle-free careerist." Politico's Josh Gerstein recalls General Kagan's pre-HLS reputation as brusque and aggressive, writing that the Obama Administration's admiration for her openness and for her interpersonal skills "would have been scoffed at a decade ago." The Volokh Conspiracy's Jonathan Adler examines her scholarship and academic career, while PrawfsBlawg discusses whether the lack of institutional diversity on the Court "“ if Kagan is confirmed, all of the Justices will hail from either Harvard or Yale Law Schools "“ is problematic.
In a piece at Politics Daily, Andrew Cohen compares fellow Harvard Law alumni Kagan and Chief Justice Roberts, and CNN interviews commentator Jeffrey Toobin, who attended Harvard Law with Kagan. Similarly, Tony Mauro reports on comments from Kagan classmate Ron Klain, now chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, at the BLT. At McClatchy, Michael Doyle writes on General Kagan's familiarity with the confirmation process. James Doty argues in Salon that liberal criticism of General Kagan's record is "dramatically overstated," and Sentencing Law and Policy contributes some initial reactions as well.
Above The Law's Kashimir Hill examines Kagan's 1995 law review article, in which she criticized the Supreme Court confirmation process as a "vapid and hollow charade." That comment, Hill speculates, might play a central role in the confirmation hearings, just as Justice Sotomayor's "wise Latina" comment did a year ago. Walter Olson predicts at Cato@Liberty that her stance on the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy will be a "speed bump on Kagan's road to confirmation." At the Volokh Conspiracy, David Bernstein comments that the appointment of yet another Harvard Law School graduate is "a bit much," and Roland S. Martin, in a CNN opinion piece, identifies a "racial double standard" in Supreme Court nominations.
Prior to the formal announcement, a number of commentators reported on the President's choice as well. The Los Angeles Times, McClatchy, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Sun-Times, two pieces at NPR, the AmLaw Daily, Law360, and ACSBlog all wrote on General Kagan's background and speculated on the possible issues that may be raised during her confirmation, and many of her former colleagues opine on her nomination in an article in the Harvard Crimson. The BLT also recaps the developments of the past twenty-four hours, and the WSJ Law Blog recaps this morning's reporting and commentary.