I’m loving the drama that is unfolding around President Obama’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.
Conservatives are, true to form, bungling the narrative they should be rightfully pushing — an unqualified liberal just chomping at the bit to legislate from the bench. Meanwhile, Miss Kagan’s record on anything that might reveal her jurisprudence is so sparse that liberals are beginning to get a little skittish on just how she may rule on various issues.
As I’ve said before, this president — and his successors — are entitled to nominate whomever they wish. We should gladly grant them that prerogative. That does not mean, however, the Senate shouldn’t do its job and ask the tough questions, even to the point of scrutiny on areas where Miss Kagan clearly lacks a public record.
Do the president and his advisers not care about the nominee’s ability to uphold the law and have a thorough understanding of the Constitution and the role she would play if confirmed as an associate justice? Have presidents of our nation, past and present, not yet grasped the harsh and simple reality that superior-minded and exceptional justices can and frequently do graduate from other institutions other than Harvard or Yale.
They can and have made substantial contributions to the court in the present and in the past. Harvard and Yale should not be the standard and prerequisite for consideration to the nation’s highest court. I have to ask, is there an unwritten rule or law in the halls of Congress and the White House, that unless you graduate from Harvard or Yale, you're rarely considered as a nominee for the court.
Yet the most interesting part of this presidential vignette isn’t the nominee herself. Rather, it’s what Miss Kagan and her selection reveal about the man behind the nominee — Barack Obama. This is less about her qualifications, and more about where Miss Kagan sits in this great cultural mixing bowl called America. The president’s choice is more of a social experiment than a well-wrought conclusion of her being the best constitutional scholar for the job. And by the way, that’s still the No. 1 requirement the last time I checked said document. Why is this president obsessed with his brand of social engineering on the Supreme Court and throughout the federal government?
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