Kagan Confirmed

By a vote of 63-37. This is the weirdest confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice that I can remember. It never really made any news, there was never any real information to come out of the hearings, and I really know nothing about her. Basically, I know she is Jewish, smart, and may or may not be a lesbian.

It’s the outcome of a dysfunctional process with a blank slate candidate combined with the fact that events of the day (two wars, oil spill, teahadist uprising, elections, shitty economy financial regulation, health care reform) overshadowed the hearings. I guess we’ll know if Obama made the right call in a couple years.






91 replies
  1. 1
    Asshole says:

    We know this is good news for McCain, too.

  2. 2
    shirt says:

    She may or may not be a hetersexual, also.

  3. 3
    mb says:

    I think she made it pretty clear that she’s not a lesbian. You shouldn’t continue to propagate such nonsense.

  4. 4
    Roger Moore says:

    Obviously, this is proof she isn’t liberal enough. If she were really liberal, she never could have gotten enough Republican votes to be confirmed. Obama has sold us out again!

  5. 5
    jeffreyw says:

    Reminds me of the old joke: A 17 year old girl stays out way late one night on a date, she calls her momma who was going out of her mind with worry and says,
    “Momma, Momma, I’m engaged!”
    Her momma asks,
    “In what?”
    So..
    Confirmed?
    As what?

  6. 6
    eemom says:

    She is NOT a blank slate. Disappointed to hear that bullshit soundbite repeated here yet again.

  7. 7
    Punchy says:

    She may or may not be a hetersexual, also.

    Ajudication thru vibration.

  8. 8
    Jim Pharo says:

    I for one am beyond grateful that we were spared the press slobbering all over Mr. Unctuous (R-Utah), as well as the strident gibberish of lesser lights like the Maine twins or News 5 Anchor Kyl. And while I assume Senator “Mr. Wilson” McCain is deeply concerned, it’s nice not to have a long drawn out season of Supreme Court Confirmation Kabuki Theatre.

    I don’t know of the Republicans were just out of gas, or if BHO and Leader Reid were clever or lucky, but as residents of the US this was a win — a good justice without the tedious televised hearings.

  9. 9

    @eemom:

    She is NOT a blank slate

    Yes, but she isn’t Dianne Wood either./snark

  10. 10
    Kryptik says:

    It was barely in the news because we were continually inundated with all sorts of other dumb shit that the media deemed necessarily to talk about, like how Shirley Sherrod is a nefarious reverse raci-oh, our bad, Obama shouldn’t have fired such a sterling woman as Shirley Sherrod, how dare he bow to wingnuts and how dare you insinuate that the media helped perpetuate this? Oh, and lets bring Pat Buchanan on to explain why Sherrod is a racist anyways.

    Kagan was deemed not important enough to spin and rip and echo 24/7 in the long scheme of things, not when you can claim that Obama has a problem because dumbasses don’t think he’s a legal AMerican, or the pernicious rise of Black Racism infiltrating our govn’t and country, oh and why is Obama wanting to tax everyone to death, especially those poor rich folk?

    There just wasn’t enough about the Kagan nom to reinforce the narrative.

  11. 11
    geg6 says:

    Cole, I just gotta call you out on this “blank slate” shit.

    Elena Kagan is NOT a blank slate. She is (was) the fucking Solicitor General of the United States, an office for which one must go through the confirmation process in the Senate. Which means she is a very well known commodity, even among the assholes who’ve been calling her names for the last few months. Before that, she was Associate White House Counsel under Clinton and then Dean of Harvard Law. And I could name those just off the top of my head.

    Christ, go read her Wiki page and be a step ahead of the assholes on FOX who also call her a “blank slate.”

  12. 12
    Athenawise says:

    @General Stuck:

    Word, General Stuck.

  13. 13
    joe from Lowell says:

    Sometimes, John, it’s the dog that doesn’t bark.

    Elena Kagan was smeared with the lie that she banned military recruiters from Harvard over DADT, and nobody cared.

    She was smeared with the charge that she was pro-sharia – a United State Supreme Court Justice nominee- and nobody cared.

    That’s significant.

  14. 14
    KG says:

    Kagan’s nomination wasn’t much of a story because she is replacing Justice Stevens. If she was replacing Kennedy, Scalia, or Thomas, it would have been insane and taken until shortly after election day 2012 to be resolved.

  15. 15
    Martin says:

    I think it was unremarkable because even the GOP recognized she was a solid and responsible nominee. The GOP is eager to reject reality for politics, but they still pick their battles and this one was a clear loser given how Sotomayor went.

  16. 16
    MikeJ says:

    @General Stuck: She also isn’t Diane Lane or Dianna Ross.

  17. 17
    Linkmeister says:

    The other thing to remember is that for the first, oh, 150 years or so of the Supreme Court’s existence, confirmations were pretty routine. It wasn’t till FDR’s “pack the court” idea that the average citizen was even aware of the process. When that failed nominations went right back to being pretty boring. There’s a nice chart showing the number of hours some prospective Justices were questioned by the Judiciary Committee at Wikipedia.

  18. 18
    Politically Lost says:

    Sorry to rain on the “She’s not a blank slate” barrage. But, can anyone of you state with any certainty and WITH EVIDENCE, just what her judicial demeanor would be?

  19. 19
    New Yorker says:

    I guess we’ll know if Obama made the right call in a couple years.

    Yes, I await a challenge to the community center in lower Manhattan to reach the Supreme Court, and which point this robed tyrant will execute her activist judicial philosophy and rip up the Constitution by allowing the community center to be built.

  20. 20
    Anya says:

    Today we’re all fascist-muslin-socialists. Abortion for everyone. Also, too

  21. 21
    peach flavored shampoo says:

    It wasn’t till FDR’s “pack the court” idea that the average citizen was even aware of the process.

    I’d say it wasn’t until Bush I (and later II) decided to fill the court with such nakedly partisan dishonest hacks that people finally went, “WTF?”

  22. 22
    BombIranForChrist says:

    I have it on good authority that Kagan is actually … Fred Thompson. And he/she wants us to keep Bush’s tax cuts.

  23. 23
    Redshirt says:

    What’s Kagan’s position on that terrible, horrible, no good mosque in NYC? Huh? Blank slate!

  24. 24
    MikeJ says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: There were nakedly partisan dishonest hacks on the court before Bush came around. FDR was going to pack the court *because* of the nakedly partisan hacks already on the court.

  25. 25
    Martin says:

    @Politically Lost: Considering how many GOP nominees turned out to be reliable liberal votes in spite of reams of legislative evidence, I don’t think anyone outside of the most outspoken judges could be spoken of with any certainty at all. If certainty is what you want, you’re being totally unrealistic.

  26. 26
    cleek says:

    @Politically Lost:
    she’ll be a spitfire of a jurist, always ready with a quick and cutting retort, and intolerant of fools and suck-ups. don’t get on her bad side! but, deep down, she has a heart of gold and if you can catch her in a quiet moment, you’ll find she’s the best listener you ever met. plus, she’s good with a knife and will always back you up in a fight. i hear she’s pretty good with a Bo staff, and has excellent drawing skills, too.

  27. 27
    Ana Gama says:

    Benen quoting Mr. Wilson:

    “When President Bill Clinton nominated Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsberg to serve on the high court, I voted for their confirmation, as did all but a few of my fellow Republicans. Why? For the simple reason that the nominees were qualified, and it would have been petty, and partisan, and disingenuous to insist otherwise. Those nominees represented the considered judgment of the president of the United States. And under our Constitution, it is the president’s call to make.”

    In the last 12 months, McCain voted against Sotomayor and Kagan.

  28. 28
    Anya says:

    Does anyone know if Goodwin Liu was confirmed?

  29. 29
    geg6 says:

    @Politically Lost:

    No. But you can’t do that with any fucking SCOTUS justice. Perhaps you might want to talk to Eisenhower about how Earl Warren would be a solid, conservative Chief.

  30. 30
    mantis says:

    @Anya:

    Does anyone know if Goodwin Liu was confirmed?

    Nope. He got through the judiciary committee on a party line vote in May, but nothing more has happened since.

  31. 31
    Ana Gama says:

    @Anya: He made it out of committee in May, but has not been confirmed yet.

  32. 32
    Politically Lost says:

    @cleek:

    You know, I sincerely thought just as much.

    My point being is that she’s never written an opinion from the bench and trying to decipher an attorney’s judicial demeanor from their advocacy is a fools errand.

    She’s a blank slate as a jurist. It is not my opinion that that is a bad thing, it’s just obvious on its face that we won’t know her demeanor until years after the fact.

    She’ probably solid on the somewhat “liberal” portion of the court with the wedge issues of the day. However, how will she be in the current corporate Juggernaut that gave us citizens united?

    We don’t have a clue. And, we won’t until…well, we’ll find out.

  33. 33
    burnspbesq says:

    @Politically Lost:

    Objection. Irrelevant. Demeanor doesn’t matter. Some of the best judges are egomaniacal assholes who routinely abuse the counsel that appear before them. What matters is how effectively and persuasively the gets her views across in conference, and how effectively and persuasively the writes. I expect her to do just fine on both counts.

  34. 34
    Anya says:

    @mantis:
    Thanks!

    I hope he is confirmed soon. Those fuckers are holding a lot of Obama’s judicial nominees. I don’t know what needs to be done but the Dems better move on this.

  35. 35
    J. says:

    Basically, I know she is Jewish, smart, and may or may not be a lesbian.

    You left out “Mets fan,” God bless her smart Jewish ambiguously sexual heart.

  36. 36
    Politically Lost says:

    @geg6:

    Yes, you can. If they’ve served as a judge before.

  37. 37
    burnspbesq says:

    @peach flavored shampoo:

    “I’d say it wasn’t until Bush I (and later II) decided to fill the court with such nakedly partisan dishonest hacks that people finally went, “WTF?””

    Not quite. Do the names Clement Haynsworth and Harold Carswell ring any bells?

  38. 38
    Martin says:

    @peach flavored shampoo: No, I think it was the use of the court by the anti-abortion foes to drive voter interest that really did it. Since the 70s the drumbeat of ‘vote conservative so we can overturn RvW’ has become more and more accepted as the the baseline for conservative support, just as the opposite has become the baseline for liberal support. There are still plenty of single-issue female voters out there to be exploited by both sides. (My wife, who isn’t a political junkie, reflexively votes Democratic precisely over this issue – and *always* will.)

    Prior to this, attention was always given to Congress to settle such matters, but the unwillingness of Congress to touch the issue (it was only a few years after Brown that Congress really started to push on the Civil Rights Act – but 40 years on, Congress has been unwilling to back up Roe legislatively) combined with conservative’s demand that through nomination they can advance an activist cause through the court (while decrying the court as activist) has made the perception of the court much more powerful.

    If legislation was delivered to reinforce Roe, a LOT of that energy would vanish, and I think Congress not acting to reinforce the ruling of the court has been a big mistake, just as it is increasingly becoming a problem of legislatures not supporting gay marriage decisions.

    Remember, the government is set up to be an inherently unstable arrangement. With 3 branches, having one go it alone without support from the other two (and with the veto and the supermajority to override, the executive and legislative have a built-in joint support mechanism), leaves a BIG opening to have that effort reversed. With only the court ruling definitively on abortion, it seems like it’s an unresolved issue.

  39. 39
    J sub D says:

    My bet is she will be overly deferential to government authority. IOW, she’ll fit right in.

  40. 40
    Politically Lost says:

    I’m not referring to their demeanor in open court. I’m referring to the history of writing that shows how a judge reasons.

    We don’t have that information.

    Objection, over ruled.

  41. 41
    burnspbesq says:

    @mantis:

    Congress is about to go home for a month. If there aren’t a shit load of recess appointments, including Liu and including Neal Katyal as the new SG, I am going to be pissed.

  42. 42
    El Cid says:

    Thankfully the patriot majority in the Court still has time to save us all from Obamacare.

  43. 43
    geg6 says:

    @Politically Lost:

    No, you can’t.

    I would bet that Nixon had no idea that Harry Blackmun would ever write such an earth shattering decision as Roe v. Wade when he nominated him from the 8th Circuit.

    But he did. And will go down in history as one of the dirtiest fucking hippies to ever put on a robe in SCOTUS.

  44. 44
    Martin says:

    @J.: Mets fan assures us that she’s a good person and decidedly not evil. I was very disappointed that Sotomayor was a Yankees fan, though being from the Bronx allows me to excuse that as simple hometown support and not evidence of evil.

    Now, Scalia is from Queens and a Yankees fan, so not only does he go for the evil team, he does so at the expense of the more honorable (NL always winning that fight) hometown team. That’s treasonous in my eyes. Not sure where Ginsburg stands, but it should be with a proper NL team – Dodgers or Mets (my Brooklyn family is split – older generations sticking with the team they watched as kids).

  45. 45
    Martin says:

    @Martin: Oh, and Alito is from Jersey, so we don’t even need to get into his baseball preferences for evidence of evil. He was born to it.

  46. 46
    Ana Gama says:

    @geg6: Daddy Bush was none to pleased with David Souter either.

  47. 47
    burnspbesq says:

    @Politically Lost:

    You are in effect saying that no one who hasn’t been a lower court judge can ever satisfy your criteria for appointment to the Supreme Court. That would have ruled out, among others, John Marshall, Chase, Taft, Brandeis, Douglas, Black, Frankfurter, Warren, and Powell.

    Sure you want to go there?

  48. 48

    @eemom: She is a blank slate. Just like everyone else that gets confirmed these days. She won’t tell us what she really thinks about issues that may come up at SCOTUS. We basically have to guess. It isn’t that hard to guess but it is a guess none the less.

    John is right, the system is broken. Maybe it always has been.

  49. 49
    Shawn in ShowMe says:

    She is a blank slate. Just like everyone else that gets confirmed these days isn’t a partisan hack.

    Fixed.

  50. 50
    burnspbesq says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    ” We basically have to guess.”

    No, you don’t have to guess. Kagan wrote a number of high-profile (and highly regarded) law review articles. They’re not that hard to find.

  51. 51
    OregonJeff says:

    @New Yorker: You’re a dimwitted, narcissistic, mupporon. If there’s a case that’s so ridiculously pushed that it ends up before the SCOTUS, it’ll be because the constitutional rights of those wishing to build a mosque have been trampled on. However, I suspect your right-leaning, conservative christian sensibilities are what’re driving your hatred for those that aren’t of the same religion. Your god is pissed at you, but lucky for you, he doesn’t actually exist and even if he did he wouldn’t be pissed enough to do anything about it.

    Kagan, the “robed tyrant”, as you so very much like to call her hasn’t yet proven herself to be anything of the sort. Take your mouth and your pucker off of Fox News long enough to find an original thought in there somewhere and explain what “robed tyrant” even means and what verifiable data you have to back it up.

    If you’re so keen to lynch “activist judges”, why don’t you give the few on the court that’ve been giving a courtesy-reach-around to corporate America while anal-pegging the average citizen ever since their appointment and confirmation. Who are those few? How about Roberts, Scalia, and Thomas or even Mr. Swing-vote himself, Kennedy?

    No, allowing the mosque to be built is protecting and properly interpreting the Constitution. Whatever it is you think they ought to do would be absolutely unconstitutional, but I didn’t anticipate you understanding that. Now, back to your hole, little man, with your copy of the Constitution (that you clearly haven’t read and don’t understand), tea party flag, and anger to the brim.

  52. 52
    MikeJ says:

    @burnspbesq: Guess, use a library, basically the same thing.

  53. 53
    burnspbesq says:

    @Martin:

    Oh, blow me. Alito’s from SOUTH Jersey. Makes a big difference.

    201 fa life!

  54. 54
    mogden says:

    Just another brilliant conformist belonging to the power elite who doesn’t give a damn about the Constitution.

  55. 55
    IM says:

    @geg6:

    Earl Warren as governor of California was the leader of the liberal republicans. That was hardly unknown to Eisenhower, who repaid him for crucial support against more conservative republicans like Taft.

    Souter on the other hand – but Souter was a blank slate. Like Kagan.

  56. 56

    @burnspbesq: So what is her position on gay marriage, the ninth amendment and public land royalty rights for oil companies? If she didn’t write a paper on those topics then we don’t know what her position is because she won’t answer questions about such topics during the confirmation hearings.

  57. 57
    eemom says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    To state the blindingly fucking obvious, no responsible appointee for judicial office states their “position” on subjects like those in a vacuum.

    Y’see, there are these things called “facts” and “existing law” and “specific issues before the court,” that have a little something to do with how a case gets decided.

  58. 58
    IM says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    Not to forget the third amendment. Her silence on this important part of the constitution is ominous.

  59. 59

    @eemom: I don’t respond to potty mouths. If you want to have a conversation with me you can keep a civil tongue in your head Mr./Mrs.

  60. 60
    eemom says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    you are on the wrong blog.

  61. 61

    @IM: Some day it might be. It would have been nice to know how she feels about it before she got the job.

  62. 62
    Cacti says:

    Kagan’s the fourth vote on a 5-4 Court.

    Republicans weren’t going to pick this hill to die on.

  63. 63
    IM says:

    @Blue Neponset:

    You are demanding a bit to much. Do you really need a opinion of Kagan on that:

    No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

  64. 64

    @IM: Who knows what will happen when the R’s win back the WH. In 1998 I had no idea that five years later our country would be torturing people with the written approval of our D.O.J.

  65. 65
    mantis says:

    @burnspbesq:

    Congress is about to go home for a month. If there aren’t a shit load of recess appointments, including Liu and including Neal Katyal as the new SG, I am going to be pissed.

    Yeah. I’m not sure what to be more pissed about, the inability of Reid and the Senate democrats to make the kinds of noises Republicans made when the Democrats were blocking Bush’s nominees (to a far, far lesser degree than Republicans are doing now), or Obama’s inability/unwillingness to put up nominees for the astounding number of current vacancies.

    Fucking Democrats.

  66. 66

    When was the last time a dem pick for Scotus justice turned out to be a closet winger? This phenom has only worked the other way for some reason, I think because conservatism is only a valid ideology in a vacuum, or, outside the actual business of governing. For this reason the onus is always on the goopers to identify and pick true believers amongst the ranks of the right in their cause, or sociopaths of a stripe, that when faced with making real decisions that often play out in the real world as life and death and liberty and all that other good shit, only a sociopath would make decisions based on conservative principles, which really aren’t principles so much as nails in the coffins of the poor and repressed. A good example of this is the issue of abortion and the many defections on the court from former opponents, ie Kennedy and O’conner to name a couple. It is one thing to oppose in theory abortion, but quite another to be a deciding vote banning them, and sentencing to death many women if they have to turn to back alley abortions, as opposed to one in a licensed medical facility. There are other examples.

    So when big mistakes are made, they are made with a Stephens, or a Souter, or a Blackmun. Liberals rarely if ever become sociopaths after the fact.

    Kagan will do fine, thanky you very much.

  67. 67
    IM says:

    To make my point more seriously. Kagan was a bit unusual. No decisions as a judge, no famous cases as a lawyer, very few articles as a law professor and those descriptive. Her career was in administration, not unusual for a jurist, but not someone you put on the supreme court.

    But let’s assume she was a famous lawyer, focusing on e. g. the first amendment. Then we would know a lot about her positions on the first amendment. On her position on the power of the president and congress regarding war powers we would still know nothing. Or on the rest of the constitution or the realm of statute law (it’s a supreme court, after all).

    So even with a more usual c. v. our knowledge is always quite limited. On a lot of issues the nominees themselves probably don’t have a position yet.

  68. 68
    ksmiami says:

    Sometimes a vanilla ice cream cone is just a vanilla ice cream cone… There just wasn’t anything controversial about her that would sell in the evening news.

  69. 69
    randiego says:

    Waah! Hey don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

    Way to go Barry! For such a sucky president, he sure gets a lot done.

    Congrats to Kagan, I’m sure she’ll be fine – I’d say by next year we’ll all be able to say “I told you so”.

  70. 70
    Politically Lost says:

    @burnspbesq:

    I didn’t say anything of the sort.

    I didn’t say that a Supreme Court Justice has to serve on a lower court.

    I was just pointing out that John is correct. She’s a blank slate.

  71. 71
    randiego says:

    [slaps forehead]

  72. 72

    @Politically Lost: I think what burns was saying and I concur, is that the only way for a pick to not be a blank slate is having been a judge making a decision. In that sense she is, but there are other indicators beyond just that that give us a general idea of her legal and moral mindset, thus negating the unqualified assertion that she is “a blank slate” which is a winger meme in it’s completeness without explanation.

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @OregonJeff:

    Dude, New Yorker was snarking. Calm down.

  74. 74
    Politically Lost says:

    @General Stuck:

    I don’t agree that it is a “winger meme”. Which implies that I’m unthinkingly parroting garbage from the sewers of Fox News or something.

    I don’t doubt that she is “qualified” to be on the court. And, I don’t think that prior judicial experience is a dispositive requirement to serve on the court.

    But, let’s don’t kid ourselves here. There is preciously little in the public record to show what she thinks…about anything. And, as John and many others pointed out the confirmation hearings did nothing to change that.

    Doesn’t that make you queasy, just a tad?

  75. 75

    @Mnemosyne: I think O. Jeff is new. Takes a while to catch the rhythm of snark around here.

  76. 76
    Hugin & Munin says:

    @Politically Lost:

    Doesn’t that make you queasy, just a tad?

    No, because shut up, pony-licker!

  77. 77

    @Politically Lost:

    Doesn’t that make you queasy, just a tad?

    Not even a tad. No one knows for sure what any nominee will do once on the court, and it simply isn’t true that

    There is preciously little in the public record to show what she thinks…about anything.

    google is your friend. Use it and read some of Kagan’s professional papers on various topics and issues.

  78. 78
    Balconesfault says:

    She was also in the same class at Princeton as Elliott Spitzer.

    And me, but that’s less interesting.

  79. 79
    Politically Lost says:

    @General Stuck:

    Glad you’re not queasy about a Judicial neophyte being appointed with a bit of the “trust me” I know in her heart she’s on the right side of things wink wink, nod nod going on at the same time.

    When Bush nominated Alito was there a shadow of a doubt as to the man’s positions and reasoning?

    I agree that non-judges have been great justices in the past. However, the politicization of the SCOTUS and how it is currently constituted make it possible that a new justice could wildly swing this court to an extreme never before seen. And, not on the wedge issues that winger’s like to cry about.

    Ce la vie. Here we are. Justice Kagan. May she be a great success.

  80. 80
    MikeJ says:

    @Balconesfault: Maybe it’s less interesting, maybe more. What’s the most you’ve ever paid for sex?

  81. 81
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Politically Lost:

    When Bush nominated Alito was there a shadow of a doubt as to the man’s positions and reasoning?

    So because Bush nominated insane extremists from the right, Obama should have nominated an insane extremist from the left rather than nominating someone he’s personally known for decades that he thought would be a good justice?

    Because that seems to be your complaint — Kagan is not your dream justice who will distort the law to fit her idea of “liberal” the same way Alito distorts the law to fit his idea of “conservative,” so therefore she’s a “blank slate” and we have no idea what to expect from her.

    (Edited to fix pronoun trouble.)

  82. 82
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Politically Lost #18:

    No, I can’t. Neither can you. Neither can she.

  83. 83
    burnspbesq says:

    @OregonJeff:

    Dude, your snark detector is defective. Return it and get your money back.

  84. 84
    burnspbesq says:

    @Politically Lost:

    Aw, for fuck’s sake, people. There is no magic decoder ring, that is only handed out when you pass the bar, required to read law review articles. All you need is an endless supply of caffeine and a willingness to burn up vacation days.

    The problem here is fucking Posner. He’s such a prolific writer that y’all think he should be the standard by which other potential justices are judged. Ain’t happnin. Give it up.

  85. 85
    burnspbesq says:

    @Politically Lost:

    No, I am not the least bit queasy. The same team that chose Sotomayor chose Kagan. Until they fuck up, they get the benefit of the doubt.

  86. 86
    burnspbesq says:

    @Politically Lost:

    Just fucking stop with the code words and the misdirection. It’s now obvious that the only possible nominee you would have found acceptable was Wood.

    Take that shit over to FDL where it belongs.

  87. 87
    Politically Lost says:

    OK, I give up. You all win the thread.

    Here I thought I was pointing out something rather banal.

    However, my comments, mild as they have been, did not amount to this:

    Because that seems to be your complaint—Kagan is not your dream justice who will distort the law to fit her idea of “liberal” the same way Alito distorts the law to fit his idea of “conservative,” so therefore she’s a “blank slate” and we have no idea what to expect from her.

    .

    The Alito example was extreme only in that is who he is as a justice, but my use of the his appointment was to point out that he had a track record that was discernible.

  88. 88
    Shelton Lankford says:

    The court has almost certainly moved to the right… again.

    I, for one, am very tired of seeing the institutions of government turn right. Sometimes its a little, and sometimes it is a lot. Our vaunted congressional majority can’t get out of its own way because of blue dogs. Our “liberal” president can’t end DADT, even by suspending enforcement or staying discharges. The majority in the Senate starts every fight with their hands in the air and their weapons on the ground.

    Of course we have to wait and see on Kagan. What choice do we have?

  89. 89
    Andy says:

    I suspect you may be pleasantly surprised by Kagan.
    I think she is a lot more liberal that her record suggests and Obama knows this.

    Obama might not have been able to do everything everyone wants like ending DADT, Gitmo, etc. It takes a long time to undo the mess created by Bush and the Republicans.

    Obama is fighting against a very hostile and lazy press which makes presenting his agenda more difficult. He is cautious.

    Give him another 18 months and then start judging. In the mean time do everything to force the media to start doing it job and reporting facts and call out bs every time you see it.

  90. 90
    Jamey: Bike Commuter of the Gods says:

    Maybe there’s not a lot to know about her–and that’s why she was chosen.

    Which is a sad reflection of what’s become of the Judiciary in general.

  91. 91
    Julian says:

    @eemom: You’re right; anyone who doesn’t realize from her meager writings that her support for civil rights only proceeds to the point where it impacts administrative authority is kidding themselves.

    Andy: How much time does he need? He’s halfway through his term. You may be comfortable with a politics of faith, but I’m not. Plus, this argument that the press and lege are somehow uniquely hostile is bs. LBJ was dealing with a lege half of who’s members didn’t even believe a black person was a person and a press that labeled him baby killer, and he still managed to get his bills through and his policies implemented. Clinton dealt with a lege that, on a daily basis, was giving press conferences implying he was a murderer and a press happy to run with it, yet he ran circles around them both. If Obama has failed to implement a progressive agenda, it’s either because he has no particular desire to, or because he lacks the ability to do it. Considering the success he has had at getting the bills he’s willing to fight for passed, I consider the reason to be the former.

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