Friday, May 14, 2010

Who Is Elena Kagan?

Elena Kagan is the latest nominee for the Supreme Court, a potential replacement for the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens. Among her list of achievements are that she was a clerk for the Court, a professor of law at Harvard, the Dean of Harvard Law School, and the Solicitor General. She has quite the resume . . . when it comes to law.

Having a great understanding of law is great. In fact, I wish the supreme court had more people with her knowledge of the law on it. But having this intelligence does not immediately qualify you for the court. Life in the classroom is much different than life on the bench, and you need someone with that experience in there.

She's never been a judge. She's never heard a case. She's never written an opinion. She has no experience in the courts, except for her brief time as Solicitor General (since January 2009). Someone who has the chance to serve on the high court should have that kind of experience. That's really my only preapprehension about having her confirmed.

I know little of her actual politics. She's a conservative Jew, who is against late term abortions and is pro gay rights, but that doesn't really narrow her down. Liberals think she'll move the court to the right, and conservatives think she'll move it to the left; the same old bickering. From the little that I've read, she seems to be more of a liberal.

Great, another liberal on the court.

But I digress. I mean, who cares about her politics really? The focus is not on that (unless she has a chance of getting confirmed). The big issue is that she doesn't have the experience that I think someone would need if they wanted to sit on the high court.

If she gets confirmed, maybe her law knowledge will help. Maybe she'll actually rule on a Constitutional basis, instead of party lines. Unfortunately, I don't see this happening. At this point, she looks like just another Democrat that the party wants on the bench to rule in their favor.

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