Supreme Court

Elena Kagan and the Gray Lady

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The New York Times weighed in today with an unsigned editorial on the Elena Kagan Supreme Court nomination. Let's just say that the Gray Lady isn't exactly thrilled with Obama's pick:

President Obama may know that his new nominee to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, shares his thinking on the multitude of issues that face the court and the nation, but the public knows nothing of the kind. Whether by ambitious design or by habit of mind, Ms. Kagan has spent decades carefully husbanding her thoughts and shielding her philosophy from view. Her lack of a clear record on certain issues makes it hard to know whether Mr. Obama has nominated a full-throated counterweight to the court's increasingly aggressive conservative wing.

Ms. Kagan would fill the seat held for 34 years by Justice John Paul Stevens, whose ringing opinions defined modern liberal jurisprudence, particularly as the decibel level of his dissents grew in recent years. The quality of his voice and his persuasive power raise the bar to a high level for his successor, and at this point there are little more than entrails and tea leaves to suggest that Ms. Kagan will meet the standard he set.

NEXT: Former FEC Chair Brad Smith on Obama's Citizen United "Demagoguery"

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  1. It’s not hard to shield your philosophy from view of the New York Times. Justice Stevens was able to fool them into thinking he was a champion of the little guy against the coercive power of government, despite authoring rulings that your property belongs to you only so long as the government and their corporate friends don’t want it for some higher purpose, and that cancer patients can’t use the medication they need to control their symptoms without the consent of Congress.

    1. It’s not hard to shield your philosophy from view of the New York Times.

      It was pretty easy to get them to cheerlead a war based on entirely fraudulent premises, though.

  2. Sure we know hardly anything about her, but she can’t possibly be worse than Bush.

    Wait … who are we talking about here? I forget.

    1. Chaz Bono?

  3. “Please don’t throw me in the briar patch,”

  4. Damn! screwed up my name must be all this tar on my fingers

  5. Kagan did a pretty good job filling in for Marv Albert on NBC while he was on trial for biting that woman.

    And, uh, “husbanding?” Make it hard to know if she’s full-throated? …Is there something on your mind, Ms. Times?

    1. hard to know whether Mr. Obama has nominated a full-throated counterweight

      If she’s really a lesbian, I doubt that she’s ever been full-throated.

  6. The NYT – and Reason readers – have every reason to be concerned about Kagan. She is a gift to the neo-cons. She has basically endorsed the Bush administration views on civil liberties and the war on terror.

    She actually told the Supreme Court in oral argument that filing a legal brief on behalf of a “terrorist organization” would be a criminal act – providing material support to a terrorist organization, as would helping such a group petition international bodies such as the UN.

    She also argued, in an amicus brief filed last year, that prosecutors at all levels of government should be completely immune from civil lawsuits even when they intentionally manufacture evidence or cover up exculpatory evidence.

  7. Here I was, waiting for an expos? on Elena Kagan’s lesbian love life. Turns out it is all about the New York Times. Sigh.

    1. beaten! Argh!

  8. I’m on the fence with this dame.

    There are several arguments she has made as Solicitor-General that make me want to kick her in the taint, but her earlier academic work seems to contradict.

    Change in philosophy, or just hired-gun advocacy while working for the man?

  9. Well she can’t be worse than Stevens… right?

  10. She may or may not have had better views previously, but she’s clearly been coopted by working in government. I see no reason for that to change when she becomes a judge. There is strong pressure for judges to become deferential to the government.

  11. Obama loves government. Kagan loves Obama and Obama loves Kagan. ergo …

  12. She has had a very successful career in lefty academic circles.

    That is about all you need to know about who she is and what her views are likely to be. They will be standard-issue lefty-academic collectivist/statist Living Constitution claptrap. Anathema, in other words, to anyone who believes in a government of limited enumerated powers and a free citizenry.

    I guarantee it.

    1. How did you avoid the Hahvahd Kool Aid, RC? Serious question.

      1. The Law School didn’t do a whole lot to push lefty-liberal thinking back in the day. I don’t recall much pressure or political content at all, but I’m pretty much impervious to these things anyway (hence, my, ahem, varied employment history).

        Of course, if you went in as a lefty and you wanted an academic career (Kagan, Obama), it wasn’t going to talk you out of it either, and you were going to get pretty easy admission to circles where you could marinate in crypto-Marxist elitism.

  13. anyone who believes in a government of limited enumerated powers and a free citizenry.

    Now, there’s a narrow slice of the demographic pie.

  14. I thought I was too jaded to care, but I am struck by the fact that none of the liberal criticisms I’ve read about Kagan even mention the constitution. I’d guess that it’s because neither Kagan nor the dems particularly care about the founding documents.

  15. Obama has nominated a full-throated counterweight to the court’s increasingly aggressive conservative wing.

    Fuuuuuck you. No, you don’t get a monopoly on political speech, bitches. Reckanize and get over it.

  16. “…and at this point there are little more than entrails and tea leaves to suggest that Ms. Kagan will meet the standard he set.”

    Isn’t the fact that she’s an unattractive lesbian proof enough that she’s a flaming liberal…I mean are there any unattractive lesbians in the world who aren’t flaming liberals? It’s pretty much a tautology.

    Unattractive lesbian < === > Flaming liberal

    1. Sorry, that arrow is supposed to only go to the right. Not all flaming liberals are unattractive lesbians.

      1. Barney Frank, for instance.

  17. Dumb question… By definition, aren’t all editorials “unsigned.”.

    Opinion pieces are by hired columnists… Editorials are written by the editorial board. So, when would they ever be signed? Anyone, anyone?

  18. Who cares what the NYT thinks. They won’t be around in 34 years. Hell, they might be gone in 34 months if the WSJ is successful in poaching their readers and advertisers in New York City.

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