on May 14, 2010 at 11:13 am
At the Associated Press, Julie Hirschfeld Davis writes that Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, who voted against Elena Kagan when she was confirmed as Solicitor General, recently met with Kagan; after the meeting, he indicated that he believes her to be â€œvery forthcomingâ€ and thinks she will â€œbe willing to respond more openlyâ€ to questions during her upcoming confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court.Â According to Reuters, Specter also told reporters that Kagan agreed with him on several of his criticisms of the Court, including his belief that the Justices accept too few cases and his argument that they erred in their January Citizens United ruling.
In the New York Times, Sheryl Gay Stolberg also has coverage of Kaganâ€™s meetings with top senators this week, writing that Senate Judiciary Committee member Jeff Sessions criticized her approach to the militaryâ€™s â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ policy following his conversation with the nominee.Â Sessions also expressed concern over Kaganâ€™s perceived lack of experience, telling reporters that he would have liked to have seen a nominee with more experience practicing law.Â David Lightman also covers the Â Senate meetings at McClatchy, as do NPR’s David Wellna, The Hill’s Alexander Bolton, and USA Todayâ€™s Joan Biskupic, who notes that Senate Republicans seemed particularly concerned with Kaganâ€™s lack of experience as a judge.
Following a meeting with Kagan, Maine Republican Susan Collins told reporters that she thinks a Senate filibuster of Kaganâ€™s confirmation is unlikely, although she is withholding judgment with regard to her own vote, Politico reports. The Boston Globeâ€™s Mark Arsenault also remarks on Kaganâ€™s meetings with key Senators, covering their reactions as well as comments from her former co-workers, and the Christian Science Monitor reports on Senate responses as well.Â At PrawfsBlawg, Paul Horwitz opines on senatorsâ€™ views with regard to the questioning of judicial nominees, in a response to a recent Mirror of Justice post on the subject.Â FoxNews reports on Senatorsâ€™ responses to their meetings with Kagan as well, highlighting speculation with regard to her views on abortion.Â (Newsweekâ€™s Eleanor Clift also examines the abortion issue as well, placing Kaganâ€™s support for a 1997 partial-birth abortion ban in context.)
At Conglomerate, Erik Gerding offers his predictions for General Kaganâ€™s confirmation hearings, speculating that she may be boxed in by the â€œJohn Yoo trapâ€ â€“ that is, an attempt to force her to suggest that â€œif she has defended in the past or would defend the constitutionality of a particular statute/administration decision as solicitor general, she must be implicitly saying she would rule the same way as judge.â€
At the National Law Journal, Karen Sloan continues the conversation over institutional diversity on the Court (if Kagan is confirmed, all nine Justices will be alumni of either Harvard or Yale Law Schools.)Â While some commentators have dismissed the significance of this point, Sloan remarks, others â€“ including Harvard professor Mark Tushnet â€“ have argued that the President should consider candidates from other law schools the next time he chooses a nominee.
David Savage offers a detailed recap of Kaganâ€™s opposition to the militaryâ€™s â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ policy in the Los Angeles Times.Â And an a Washington Post opinion piece entitled â€œHow I Know Kagan Isnâ€™t Anti-Military,â€ former OLC head Walter Dellinger recaps the details of Kaganâ€™s â€œDonâ€™t Ask, Donâ€™t Tellâ€ opposition during her tenure at Harvard, arguing that none of Kaganâ€™s actions as Dean â€œremotely suggest anything but the greatest respect for the military.â€Â Brandon Bartels comments on the issue as well at Concurring Opinions.
At the Huffington Post, Andrew Sargus Klein discusses Kaganâ€™s perceived views with regard to executive power, arguing that President Obamaâ€™s choice of a nominee who has advocated for broad presidential authority highlights the similarities between him and his predecessor.
In a two–part post at Balkinization, Jack Balkin responds to the contentions that Kagan is a â€œstealth nominee,â€ pointing out that a limited record of academic writing should not be confused with a â€œlack of other indicia about a candidateâ€™s general sensibilitiesâ€ and arguing that the demand for a candidateâ€™s record often represents an attempt to undermine the nomination.Â Kaganâ€™s former Harvard Law School colleague, Professor Charles Ogletree, also responds to criticisms of Kagan, vigorously defending her nomination in an essay at The Root.Â Ogletree addresses criticisms about Kaganâ€™s civil rights hiring record and calls her a â€œdevotee of issues of diversity and equal opportunity for all Americans.â€Â At the New York Times, Katharine Q. Seelye reports on Kaganâ€™s HLS hiring record as well.
Also addressing the Kagan nomination, Dahlia Lithwick argues in an essay at Slate that, while we may still know relatively little about Kaganâ€™s jurisprudence, President Obamaâ€™s choice of her as a nominee allows us rare insight into his own judicial philosophy.Â At the Volokh Conspiracy, Orin Kerr comments on the religious makeup of the Supreme Court.Â And at the Washington Post, Alec MacGillis points out that the White House experience Kagan would bring to the Court â€“ from the time she spent in the Clinton Administration â€“ is â€œin short supply on the bench.â€
Tony Mauro notes, in a piece at the National Law Journal, that speculation has already begun about who will replace Elena Kagan as Solicitor General if she is in fact confirmed to the Supreme Court.Â According to Mauroâ€™s article, the White Houseâ€™s existing short-list for the position includes Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire; Neal Katyal, the current principal deputy solicitor general; former New York solicitor general Preeta Bansal; and Akin Gumpâ€™s Patricia Millett.
Finally, in non-nomination news, the Associated Press reports that the Obama administration filed papers Wednesday in a lawsuit filed by a victim of the governmentâ€™s extraordinary rendition program, who was mistakenly sent to Syria, where he claims he was tortured.Â Lower courts dismissed the case, and the government has urged the Court to allow that dismissal to stand.