It looks unlikely that Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee will vote to send Thurgood Marshall’s nomination to the full Senate, although of course they don’t have the votes to stop it.
Oh…. Wait a minute….
Seriously, guys — what’s with the hatefest on the first African-American Supreme Court justice? I mean, Thurgood Marshall is one of the pioneers of the civil rights movement — he makes me proud to be an American. Jeff Sessions, Jon Kyl, John Cornyn, Chuck Grassley… not so much, apparently.
Ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) criticized Kagan for having “associated herself with well-known activist judges who have used their power to redefine the meaning of our constitution and have the result of advancing that judge’s preferred social policies,” citing Marshall as his son, Thurgood Marshall Jr., sat in the audience of the Judiciary Committee hearings.
Okay, someone help me with this: I thought Republicans were all about how Lyndon Johnson would never have been able to get all that historic civil rights legislation passed without Republicans in Congress, and how it’s really the Democratic Party that supported segregation and Jim Crow, and the Republican Party is the party of Lincoln, and Martin Luther King, Jr., voted Republican, and yadda yadda yadda. Umm, so how do we get to Jeff Sessions accusing Elena Kagan of “associating herself” with the likes of the Supreme Court justice who wrote Brown v. Board of Education — as if clerking for Thurgood Marshall were on a par with money laundering for the Gambino crime family?
And even weirder than the fact that they clearly view Marshall as an un-American enemy of the U.S. Constitution is the fact that they would make that view so glaringly obvious. In that TPMDC piece I quoted above, Christina Bellantoni notes that Republicans referred to Marshall 35 times in this one opening day of Kagan’s confirmation hearings, while mentioning Pres. Obama only 14 times. And those 35 mentions were decidedly NOT praiseful.
What good can Republicans derive for themselves come out of dissing Thurgood Marshall? None, of course, but Adam Serwer thinks they’re just using anything they can find to manufacture controversy since Kagan’s confirmation is all but assured:
Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court has drawn glum shrugs from the left and yawns from the right, and that’s probably just how the White House wants it — they are looking for as quiet a confirmation process as possible. Because Kagan has no judicial record or large volume of academic work to speak of, Republicans have been forced to draw on even more specious arguments than usual to gin up opposition to her nomination. Following is a brief guide to the Republican case against Kagan, and the Democrats’ likely responses.
They are, in addition to the “Kagan is a judicial activist, just like her hero Thurgood Marshall” smear: She’s anti-military, she’s against gun rights, she’s trying to help Islamic groups install sharia, she’s a partisan, and she has no experience.