If Barack Obama nominates Elena Kagan tomorrow, it will be another empty suit walking into the most important job in legal America. When the great Justice John Paul Stevens retires from the Supreme Court, those who love the Constitution and limits on government power will have lost our greatest advocate. An old-school Republican from Illinois, he represented the former bipartisan utopian era Obama keeps pining for in our more fallen days. Those were the days where a Republican lawyer like Stevens worked on antitrust, and President Ford would ban the presidential assassination attempts.
In an era of unprecedented expansion of presidential power, the Supreme Court is our only check against government tyranny. Last month, Barack Obama’s White House asserted the right to assassinate American citizens by putting New Mexican Anwar al-Awlaki on a government hit list for his preaching in Yemen. Not even George W. Bush’s Department of Justice would make such a bold claim. Where does Kagan sit on these leading legal issues of the day?
Nowhere…. (or in the case of presidential power, she told the Senate she believed in indefinite detention). Elena Kagan has no record to speak of, and no one knows if she is a liberal, conservative, or moderate. Despite twenty years of work and being the dean of Harvard Law School, she has only published three law articles. A better question should be why she was fit to be dean, in my opinion. Given that she has never been a judge either, why should she be at the highest court in the land?
Like Obama, no one leaves a conversation with her knowing what she really thinks about an issue. Unlike Longhorn graduate Diane Wood, she is not a proud liberal who has made tough and controversial decisions on an appellate court. It’s another record career without a record.
It’s just another case of the patented Obama Style. Harvard kids with no real opinions but a major crush on Goldman Sachs. America deserves better than the liberal equivalent of Harriet Miers.