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Is That a Smirk?


What’s that look on Elena Kagan’s face as she listens to the opening statements by members of the Senate Judiciary Committee?

USA Today calls it "an inscrutable expression," which is the truth, if not the whole truth. "Quizzical" or "irritated" might be closer to it. "Looking like she just opened a bottle of spoiled milk" would be very near the mark.

In their opening statements, Republicans Jeff Sessions, Orrin Hatch, Charles Grassley and Jon Kyl have so far taken their turns. All focused heavily on Kagan’s past writings which, in absence of any record as a judge, is the only concrete evidence they have of her judicial philosophy.

Several opening statements were preceded by senatorial tributes to the late Robert C. Byrd, but none of the senators mentioned the most notorious data point in Byrd’s biography.