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Is Elena Kagan qualified to serve as a Supreme Court justice?

May 10, 2010

President Barack Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan as successor to the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Solicitor General Elena Kagan delivers her remarks during her introduction as the Supreme Court nominee to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens in the East Room of the White House in Washington May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Larry DowningIf confirmed, Kagan would become the first justice in nearly 40 years who has never served as a judge . The former Harvard Law School dean has served only one year as solicitor general, a post in which she argues cases on behalf of the government before the Supreme Court.

The last two justices who had not been judges, William Rehnquist and Lewis Powell, joined the Supreme Court in 1972.

While no nomination is guaranteed to be approved by the Senate, Kagan is seen as having a good chance for confirmation.

But Republicans made clear they will not give her rubber-stamp approval. They called attention to her limited judicial experience and said she lacks real-world experience.

At her Senate confirmation hearing, Kagan could face vigorous questioning on hot-button issues such as her opposition to on-campus military recruiting at Harvard because of U.S. policy barring gays from serving openly in the armed forces.

Violent video games, protests at funerals for U.S. military members, a Swiss watch copyright dispute and vaccine-maker liability are among the cases that Solicitor General Elena Kagan would confront if approved for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Given her limited judicial experience, do you think Elena Kagan is qualified to serve as a Supreme Court justice?

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PHOTO: Solicitor General Elena Kagan delivers her remarks during her introduction as the Supreme Court nominee to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens in the East Room of the White House in Washington May 10, 2010. REUTERS/Larry Downing


Considering all the legal scholars we have in this country, is this really the best Obama can come up with?

If this is the best he can come up with, I guess it further shows us the caliber of judgment he offers.

I am reading people praising him picking a woman, a lesbian (closeted)…

Really? I thought we wanted to judge people on their QUALIFICATIONS and EXPERIENCE, not on the the color of their skin, their reproductive anatomy, or who they choose to mate with.

This is the Supreme Court people. This is about upholding the Constitution. It is not about creating policy.

Posted by Satine | Report as abusive

I hope everyone will take the time to read Kagan’s application for the SCOTUS. Don’t miss the part about Goldman-Sachs, or the part about her time in Chicago where she met, who else(?), Obama. She is really intertwined with this whole Obama administration group–and it’s really scary. She has NO experience as a judge and this is NOT the type of position where she should be getting her on-the-job training. Ridiculous. Just show the partisanship from Obama’s administration, the closed little society he runs in D. C., and Obama’s affinity for picking loyalists to himself, rather than qualified people. And, on top of that, why is she hiding the fact that she’s a lesbian? Must be more of that transparancy we’ve been promised! Get with it, and nominate someone who actually QUALIFIES.

Posted by BeadingWoman | Report as abusive

I haven’t read anything yet that shows she’s either qualified or moderate in her views, and I’ve actually been looking very hard to find that. All I’m seeing on her views and work shows her to be far to the left and sometimes not logical in approach and analysis, and far off track (the dot’s in her arguments don’t connect and are unrelated). On positives, she seems very intelligent and knowledgeable and from all I’ve seen written “likable.” Going back to Satine’s comment though, I believe she’s correct and that this candidate would not uphold the Constitution and law, but would be intent on setting direction and policy in spite of the Constitution and law which is the opposite of this role. It’s interesting that Obama is putting forward the Solicitor General for the case he disagreed with to the point where he chastised the justices in front of Congress and the world during his State of the Union.

Posted by optima5 | Report as abusive

Our Supreme Court should be a reflection of the nation and her people, and not a bunch of philosophers, either from the right or the left. I have often railed against judges that rose strictly through the prosecutorial rank, or spent inversely proportionate time earning pay check as a judge. As such, I criticized Judge Alito when he was appointed, even with the vast experience he had on the judicial bench. I hope Obama had seen some of her writing, and that such writing shows a depth of analysis, and that the nation would be allowed to see one or two of these writings.

Posted by 0okm9ijn | Report as abusive

Obama has picked a radical,leftist,elitist,prevaricating, academia-produced mirror image of himself to sit on the Supreme Court. Just like his appointed pack of Czars, he has “cloned” himself in order to have his tentacles in every branch of government and every phase of Americans’lives to assure the success of his Saul Alinsky inspired transformation of America. As for Kagan…if you can’t be honest and come out of the closet, how can you expect to be honest when you go into the Chamber?

Posted by urstrange | Report as abusive

I am just as concerned about the previous five readers who posted comments, however, I am patient enough to let the candidate go through the process put in place to rightfully determine if a person is qualified to serve on the highest court in our land. Everyone needs to quit speculating and jumping all over this very dedicated, educated, and obviously talented individual. She has earned a right to be brought forth as a candidate, as confirmed by both right/left politicians and scholars.

Posted by tonypasquale | Report as abusive

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