Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Supreme Court Nominee
Elena Kagan is the latest nominee for the Supreme Court with the announcement made recently by President Obama. She would be the youngest justice as well as give the court three female members for the first time. If confirmed, she would become only the fourth woman justice in history. Kagan at 50 is fairly young to be chosen for a lifetime position and could have an effect on the court for decades. She is currently the Solicitor General. She was the Dean of Harvard Law School from 2003 to 2009. She would be the first justice in nearly 40 years without any judicial experience. Former Attorney General Ed Meese released the following statement in response to Kagan's nomination: "First and foremost, any nominee to a lifetime appointment to the United States Supreme Court must demonstrate a thorough fidelity to apply the Constitution as it was written, rather than as they would like to re-write it. Given Solicitor General Kagan's complete lack of judicial experience, and, for that matter, very limited litigation experience, Senators must not be rushed in their deliberative process. Because they have no prior judicial opinions to look to, Senators must conduct a more searching inquiry to determine if Kagan will decide cases based upon what is required by the Constitution as it is actually written, or whether she will rule based upon her own policy preferences. "Though Ms. Kagan has not written extensively on the role of a judge, the little she has written is troubling. In a law review article, she expressed agreement with the idea that the Court primarily exists to look out for the "despised and disadvantaged." The problem with this view - which sounds remarkably similar to President Obama's frequent appeals to judges ruling on grounds other than law - is that it allows judges to favor whichever particular client they view as "despised and disadvantaged." The judiciary is not to favor any one particular group, but to secure justice equally for all through impartial application of the Constitution and laws. Senators should vigorously question Ms. Kagan about such statements to determine whether she is truly committed to the rule of law. Nothing less should be expected from anyone appointed to a life-tenured position as one of the final arbiters of justice in our country." I agree with Mr. Meese as do most Americans according to several surveys. A survey taken after the 2008 election by the polling place found that 70% of actual voters wanted judges to use law rather than personal views and feelings to make decisions. A survey by Gallup indicates that Americans "would prefer a new Supreme Court justice who makes the court more conservative (42%) over one who would make the Court more liberal (27%). The Senators must do their job properly and give the American people what they want. Otherwise, the rule of law will suffer even more.