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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Kagan on the court

Barack Obama's apparent selection of Elena Kagan as the next associate justice of the Supreme Court represents the ultimate solution to shutting down the a Senate confirmation process that has gotten totally out of hand.

Why? Because as a lawyer who has never served as a judge, she doesn't have a record that opposition researchers can pore over in search of decisions that can be twisted out of context. Although I am sure she has given scores of speeches that will provide ample fodder for the Party of No.

Kagan, the current solicitor general, also has a record as dean of Harvard Law School, sure to bring out the snarkmeisters. And it is that tenure -- which includes making accommodations to conservative faculty -- that seems to unhinge some of my friends on the left.

Yet it is that trait which appears most important in succeeding John Paul Stevens. The retiring justice is a moderate Republican -- a nearly extinct breed. He used wisdom and accommodation to build majorities, something that is in otherwise short supply on this bench.

Medical fact says Obama will have still more opportunities to shape the court. What we currently know about Kagan suggests she is a wise choice to stand firm against the current onslaught of conservative activism.

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