Fluff And Bluster At The Kagan Hearings
Confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court make for good theatre, I suppose. Lots of face time to flatter lots of egos. But, what have we really learned so far? Let’s recap. Most Republicans, lead by the ever so open minded Jeff Sessions, wouldn’t vote for Elena Kagan if Ronald Reagan rose from the grave to endorse her. Most Democrats, lead by the ever so reticent Chuck Schumer, wouldn’t vote against her if she admitted to Satan worship. Everybody, Republican and Democrat alike, got to give a heck-of-a stem winder of a speech before anything else happened.
And what about the nominee? She’ll be modest. Unlike the maligned assertion of being a “wise Latina” I would guess. How refreshing. Modest. That’s the takeaway media word from day one. Gave the media a takeaway. Applause from the White House. Let’s see, what else? Fidelity to the Constitution and the rule of law. Won’t allow personal opinions to sway her judgment. Will be an umpire, not an advocate…or was that someone else? Fairness, evenhandedness, proper judicial demeanor. Won’t pre-judge issues that might come before her as a judge. Never had an opinion in her life about abortion, and if she ever did won’t let it effect her constitutional analysis. She was just doing her job when she wrote that, said that.
The revelations! The insight! She worked in the Clinton administration. Good qualification. She’ll know how to preside over an impeachment trial if she’s ever called on to do that. She clerked for Thurgood Marshall decades ago. She liked him, and shamelessly admits it. Uh oh, inter-racial liking. Then there’s that Solicitor General gig, when the Supreme Court went against so many of her positions. But, she was just doing her job. And there are the startling revelations in response to those deep and probing questions. She’d allow tv cameras in the courtroom. Scandalous. And she, like most Jews, probably had dinner at a Chinese restaurant on Christmas. Human and humorous. Is humor a disqualifier for the serious role of Supreme Court Justice? Who on the Committee will raise that weighty question?
There will be the other witnesses of course. Some will say she’s smart. Really smart. And principled too. And a consensus builder. Others will say she’s “out of the mainstream”…whatever that means. When it’s over, there will be more pronouncements and talk show appearances for the senators. She’ll be declared unfit to babysit by some and the second coming of Deborah by others (that’s a Biblical reference – Deborah was a judge and prophetess who, with the Biblical Barak, organized an army and led the Jewish people to victory – see, Judges 4:1-24).
Supreme Court confirmation hearings a “vapid and hollow charade”? Elena Kagan proclaimed them so. Insightful woman, she.
[Author’s Note: Yes, I know that the Chief Justice, not an Associate Justice, presides over impeachment trials. I was just determined not to let facts get in the way of the story.]
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