Monday, May 10, 2010

Hat trick: Alito, Sotomayor, Kagan 

Princeton in the nation's service: If confirmed, Elena Kagan will become the third consecutive appointment to the Supreme Court to have gone to Princeton. Just saying.

I hope this does not become an issue at the hearings. Much as my alma mater annoys me from time to time, I'd hate to think that mere association with Princeton could be cause for a "borking."

Of course, your results may vary.

MORE: Over at Volokh (CWCID: Glenn Reynolds), Ilya Somin has interesting and useful thoughts on the nomination, with suggestions for the Republican response:

In my view, it is perfectly legitimate for senators and others to oppose a professionally qualified judicial nominee because of flaws in her judicial philosophy. On this, I agree with Barack Obama. At the same time, any nominee must be weighed against the likely alternatives, not just against some ideal pick. Barring some unforeseen revelation, I think Kagan is is likely to be better from any non-liberal point of view than anyone else Obama is likely to choose. Therefore, I don’t see much to be gained from aggressively opposing her nomination. Indeed, if administration opponents dig in and signal that they will wage war against any plausibly liberal nominee regardless of her views, that will just increase the administration’s incentive to appoint hard-line left-wingers. If Democrats believe they can’t avoid a tough nomination battle regardless of what they do, they will have little reason to go with relative moderates.

Even if they choose not to oppose Kagan, conservatives and libertarians can still use the nomination and resulting hearings as an opportunity to raise important issues and point out weaknesses in the administration’s judicial philosophy. Kagan herself defended the legitimacy of inquiries into a nominee’s judicial philosophy in a in a 1995 article. Despite some excesses, I think we were fairly successful at doing that during the debate over Sotomayor, which gave new prominence to property rights issues, and forced Sotomayor to publicly repudiate liberal views on the importance of “empathy” and international law. Hopefully, the Kagan hearings will be another opportunity to advance public debate over important legal questions.



By Anonymous Anonymous, at Mon May 10, 02:32:00 PM:

Not as bad as some possibilities, but bad enough.


The state which separates its scholars from its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.
- Thucydides  

By Blogger Georgfelis, at Tue May 11, 12:40:00 AM:

Three in a row in this case is not a Hat Trick, it's a Turkey. We know what we're going to get, it's the same as the last time, but not as good as the first time. And we're going to have to live with Leftovers forever.  

By Anonymous Billy Bob Corncob, at Tue May 11, 07:46:00 PM:

The inference, in this day of filibusters and conformity, is that Princeton is the perfect breeding ground for the unobjectionable conformist.

Acknowledging of course that TH happens to be an outlier, but not a complete one, in that regard.  

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