Tales from the Trail

In Brown vs. Kagan, the decision is in…

August 5, 2010

Just because he introduces you to his colleagues, doesn’t mean he’ll vote for you.

That’s what U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan found out on Thursday about Senator Scott Brown.

Usually there wouldn’t have been great expectations for a Republican senator to vote for a Democratic president’s nominee, but in the case of Brown vs. Kagan the outcome was a question mark.

He did after all introduce her to the Senate Judiciary Committee at her confirmation hearing, given that they’re both from Massachusetts.

USA-COURT/KAGANBut on Thursday, Brown said he would be voting against President Barack Obama’s nominee to the highest U.S. court.

“First, let me say that I have a great deal of respect for Elena Kagan,” Brown says in the statement.

“However, I cannot vote to confirm Elena Kagan. The reason is simple. I believe nominees to the Supreme Court should have previously served on the bench. Lacking that, I look for many years of practical courtroom experience to compensate for the absence of prior judicial experience. In Elena Kagan’s case, she is missing both,” he said.

Brown then brought up the comparison by Chief Justice John Roberts at his Senate confirmation hearings in 2005 that judges were like baseball umpires.
 
“The best umpires, to use the popular analogy, must not only call balls and strikes, but also have spent enough time on the playing field to know the strike zone,” he said.

Kagan still is expected to win confirmation, even without Brown’s vote.

Photo credit: Reuters/Hyungwon Kang (Brown and Kagan meeting on Capitol Hill)

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