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Grill the Snot out of Kagan


Wow, these Kagan hearings are boring as hell. As expected, Barack’s girl, Elena, is dancing and dodging her way out of substantially answering any question. Heck, this kabuki theater has already gotten to the point where Kagan said with a straight face that she didn’t know what the term “legal progressive” means. Um, riiiiight.

Folks, weren’t we told what an intellectual powerhouse Kagan is? That she’d be able to counterbalance the intellectual heft of Justices Scalia and Roberts? And yet, Miss Kagan lacks even the cerebral nimbleness to answer a question about her “progressive” worldview without using the phrase, ‘I don’t know.’ If confirmed, it looks like the only balance Kagan will bring to the Supreme Court is that now Clarence Thomas has a viable opponent to arm wrestle.

Of course, Kagan knows exactly what she’s doing—obfuscating and avoiding tough questions with twaddle responses, such as the one she’s been giving all day: “It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to talk about what I think about past cases, you know, to grade cases because those cases themselves might again come before the court.” Blah, blah, blah.

Thus far, she’s flubbed her very own standard on how Supreme Court proceedings should operate. Here are the three ways the Kagan of 15 years ago would rebuff the Kagan of today.

1. In 1995, writing in The University of Chicago Law Review, Kagan opined: “The problem is not that senators engage in substantive discussion with Supreme Court nominees; the problem is that they do not. Senators effectively have accepted the limits on inquiry. … The challenge now is to over-throw" those limits.  

2. Also writing in The University of Chicago Law Review journal, Kagan argued, “I suspect that both [Justices Ginsburg and Breyer] appreciated that, for them as for most, the safest and surest route to the prize lay in alternating platitudinous statement and judicious silence. Who would have done anything different, in the absence of pressure from members of congress? And of such pressure, there was little evidence.”

3. During the same time, Kagan determined that the current manifestation of the confirmation hearings have taken on “an air of vacuity and farce,” when the Senate “ceases to engage nominees in meaningful discussion of legal issues" and doesnt "properly evaluat[e] nominees or appropriately educat[e] the public."

On those three points, we agree. The GOP should “over-throw” the urge to play paddycake with Kagan and instead grill the snot out of her. And if she continues to give non-answers (as she’s been doing all day), then Kagan would be an epic failure by her own standard.