Tuesday, May 11, 2010

First Impressions on Kagan

President Obama has recently decided on Elena Kagan, currently the Solicitor General, to be his nominee for the post Justice Stevens has on the Supreme Court.

I likely may not be the first to say this but here it goes: Could we please not have a bloodbath like we did when Sotomayor was nominated? When I first heard of Justice Stevens’ decision to leave, I felt the same political seasickness I’ve been feeling for a while now. The sum of my thoughts was: “here we are, Obama has another open seat to full and we’re going to just repeat the same battle from a year ago”.

However, with his nominee out in the open, has my seasickness has yet to be relieved.

First and foremost is her record, or perhaps lack of one. I agree with numerous other commenters who’ve said that this is a double-edged sword. On one hand, no one has a clear idea on how she’ll swing on the bench. We can guess that she’ll further Obama’s left-leaning agenda, but because she hasn’t been a judge, we don’t know much about her stance on certain hot button issues. On the other hand, there isn’t much to fuel the fire and brimstone that is bound to be coming her way.

Secondly, it appears that people on both sides of the fence like her. A good number of Republicans voted for her during her appointment for Solicitor General, so should they decide to bend the other way, things will get interesting as we watch them back track. Yet, spin that dime around and we have reports of folks from both parties who dislike the woman.

Of course, her lack of a paper trail and history with folks who aren’t of the liberal persuasion are on the list of reasons for why Obama picked her. I would imagine if I were him, I’d want someone who could possibly fly into the seat without being the target of so much flak. Given the political climate of recent months, the fact that we’re going into an election year – one that the Dems aren’t too sure they can pull out ahead in, and the precedent set for the treatment of Obama nominees, I wouldn’t want to waste too much time fighting another battle over matters like these.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s far too early for me to be comfortable with her. As her life gets pulled through the teeth of the media – of which I’m sure it will – I’ll pay close attention and choose where I’d like to settle. Until then, I’ll stay in my little boat and try not to lose my lunch.

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