Kagan Opening Statement: Restraint, Deference to People’s Will
Elena Kagan will open her confirmation hearing for the Supreme Court with a nod to concerns of both conservatives and liberals.
At least three times in her opening statement, she will speak of the importance of the court showing restraint and deference to the will of the people, according to excerpts released by the White House. That answers in advance a charge of political activism from the bench that conservatives often level at liberals. It could also be seen as a message to liberals who believe it is the conservatives who are now the activists.
Read the full post at blogs.wsj.com.
Kagan Promises Impartiality as Hearings Open
Solicitor General Elena Kagan pledged on Monday that if the Senate confirms her nomination to the Supreme Court, she will adopt a “modest” stance toward her powers and will defer to the policy decisions of Congress and the president, according to excerpts from her prepared opening statement released by the White House.
On the first day of her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Ms. Kagan planned to refer to the years she spent in the White House and Justice Department to reassure lawmakers she would not trample on the role of elected political leaders.
Read the full article at nytimes.com.
How Elena Kagan could get through her confirmation hearings
It’s well-understood by now that Supreme Court nominees assume personas calculated to ease them through the confirmation process. Take, for instance, John “Show Me The Strike Zone” Roberts. Or Sonia “Did I Say I Was Wise?” Sotomayor. Elena Kagan should take this confirmation conversion one step further and fully adopt a persona that could help her navigate the confirmation shoals. Here is a trio of possibilities Kagan might want to try on for her question-and-answer session with senators:
The Songstress. Kagan should sing all of her responses to the Judiciary Committee. This would work particularly well under questioning by Sen. Orrin Hatch, the Republican from Utah who’s also an accomplished song writer. For example, when asked how she feels about tort reform and limiting lawsuits, she should seize on the tune of one of Barbra Streisand’s most famous songs to croon: “People, people who sue people, are the yuckiest people in the world.” When discussing the legality of the president’s health-care plan (to the tune of Natalie Cole’s “Unforgettable”): “Constitutional, that’s what you are….” And the music of The Beatles’ “Let It Be” would be perfect for describing how this former law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall would work through difficult legal issues: “When I find myself in times of trouble, Justice Marshall comes to me…” (Tip: Don’t say WHICH Justice Marshall. If senators think you’re referring to the 19th century chief justice, let it be.)
Read the full post at voices.washingtonpost.com.