I do have to say that the news these days is just about too depressing--all of it--to blog about, so this break might not be a bad idea to help maintain my sanity. What is this, something like DAY 82 of the Gulf Oil Disaster? But if all you read is the lamestream press, you wouldn't really even be aware that there's much of a problem. I actually think the biggest disaster going on these days isn't in the Obama administration--it's in the total abdication of the formerly mainstream press to report the news. It's not going to work. Thank God for the Internet. However, it's depressing nonetheless.
"This Is a Confirmation, Not a Coronation"
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT): Kagan is possessed of a "brilliant legal mind" as "well within the legal mainstream." Yes. And Leahy would probably describe himself as a moderate, as well. Oh, and he's the same guy who spent WEEKS brow-beating Clarence Thomas in the circus of his confirmation hearings. But, Leahy says, these Kagan hearings ought to be "fair." You betcha. As the late Ted Kennedy said in the Thomas hearings: "It is clear that Judge Thomas was nominated precisely to advance the agenda of the right wing. I oppose any effort by this administration [George H. W. Bush] to pack the Supreme Court with justices who will turn back the clock on issues of vital importance for the future of our nation and for the kind of country we want America to be." Heh.
Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY): Kagan is "the best this country has to offer." Really.
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA): Kagan's qualifications are "sterling"; her lack of judicial experience is "refreshing." Good grief. Just about like Obama's lack of executive experience is refreshing. What is it with these leftists that lack of experience for top jobs has suddenly become a career-enhancing attribute?
Comedian-turned-Senator Al "Senator Smalley" Franken (D-MI) slept through Kagan's droning introductory statement.
Here's Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, giving his opening statement yesterday in the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings, posted at Real Clear Politics.
Sessions enumerated some of his "serious concerns" about the candidate:
- Less real legal experience than any nominee in at least 50 years.
- She's not been a judge; in fact, she's barely practiced law, and "not with the intensity and duration from which I think real legal understanding occurs."
- She's never tried a case before a jury.
- She argued her first appellate case just nine months ago.
- While academia has value, "there is no substitute for being in the harness of the law, handling real cases over a period of years.
- Her background reveals a more extensive background of policy and politics, mixed with law.
- Her college thesis: Socialism in New York--seemed to bemoan the demise of socialism.
- [Oh God] She started her political career in the campaign of Michael Dukakis.
- Her five years spent in the Clinton White House involved, as she described it, "mostly policy work. As Sessions points out, policy is quite different than intense legal work.
- She illegally kicked military recruiters off the campus when she was Dean at Harvard Law.
- She's served as Solititor General for little over a year.
- Throughout her career she's associated herself with well-known activist judges, describing Israeli Chief Justice Aharon Barak as "my judicial hero."
- Sessions: Ms. Kagan's career has been more concerned with policy than law, and this does worry many Americans.
Charmaine Yoest, President & CEO for Americans United for Life (AUL) is posting her reactions at Human Events to the confirmation hearings. Yoest says that on day one in her opening statement, Kagan "did not once claim to intend to remain faithful to the Constiution, an odd omission for a Supreme Court nominee."
Also at Human Events is an article by Kevin Gutzman, historian, Constitutional scholar, and bestselling author of The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Constitution and outspoken critic of excessive power of the Supreme Court: "Kagan Hearings Annoy Me Already." He enumerates his annoyances in the article, concluding that Kagan's prose, read to the committee, was simply awful: "Either Kagan is a dullard, or her presentation had been carefully dumbed down and brushed of all personality. It resembled nothing so much, to borrow a phrase, as a bill of lading. Or an Al Gore speech."
The hearings continue this morning, Tuesday.
Oh, and for those leftists who are hysterical over the possibility of a Republican filibuster (which of course will never happen)? Here's another "return to yesteryear" moment, when the Dems filibustered George W. Bush's solicitor general who was nominated for the U.S. Court of Appeals, Miguel Estrada. Estrada eventually withdrew his name from nomination.