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Kagan theses to be available online

By Garance Franke-Ruta
The White House announced Monday that it would make Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's Princeton senior thesis available for online publication. Her Oxford graduate thesis would also be made available for online posting, a White House official said, as "a demonstration of our commitment to transparency."

Permission to publish the two papers will be granted when the White House sends the Senate Judiciary Committee Kagan's responses to questions from the panel about her background, an administration official said. But it remains unclear when that will happen, in large part because the Clinton Presidential Library is still compiling documents from Kagan's four-year tenure in the Clinton White House.

Princeton University had sent news organizations and blogs copies of the thesis for research and personal use purposes -- hence the many excerpts from it in news stories -- but objected when a conservative blog posted the full document online late last week. The university declined to grant permission to The Post to publish it, as well, saying Friday that only Kagan could give that permission because she was the copyright holder on the 1981 document detailing the collapse of the Socialist Party in New York.

Asked by The Post for permission to publish the document Friday, the White House said it would review the matter. Other major media outlets also requested permission last week to publish the paper.

Access to the senior thesis, on a topic of keen interest to those who would seek to divine clues to Kagan's judicial philosophy from her youthful history department scholarship, had threatened to become a point of controversy after conservative blog RedState.com published it online Thursday, only to receive a letter Friday from Princeton demanding that it be taken down.

RedState complied, but over the weekend liberal blogger and economist Brad DeLong also objected to the university's stringent defense of its former student's copy rights and published the thesis, sparking anew attention to the question of why Princeton was seeking to keep the full document out of the public record.

Blog Infidels Are Cool also had published the thesis Thursday and on Friday a Washington state man uploaded it onto Scribd, further demonstrating the difficulty of keeping documents off the Web once they have been formatted electronically, especially in a media environment in which small, nontraditional outlets routinely flout copyright laws and citizens have access to powerful document-sharing technology.

By opening access to the theses, the White House seemed to be signaling that it recognized the theses would be less of an issue -- conservative bloggers have seized on the Princeton thesis to argue that Kagan, and by extension Obama, are socialists -- if made freely available to the public.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  |  May 17, 2010; 12:08 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Supreme Court  
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Comments

From most of the comments here, I would have to believe that you are all a bunch of young, inexperienced, uninformed people of questionable voting age. There is an old saying that still applies. "If you are
not a Democrat in your youth, you have no heart. If you are still a Democrat in
your middle age, you have no brains."

Posted by: depoulins | May 18, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

Should we consider Kagan's thesis?

We have had experience with the issue of how much to rely on thesis recently.

Virginia's governor McDonnell was called to account for his thesis where he actively promoted conservative, faith-based principles through tax policy, the public schools, welfare reform and other avenues. He said that women working is among the "real enemies of the traditional family.

"In his run for governor, McDonnell, 55, makes little mention of his conservative beliefs and has said throughout his campaign that he should be judged by what he has done in office, including efforts to lower taxes, stiffen criminal penalties and reform mental health laws. He reiterated that position Saturday in a statement responding to questions about his thesis."

"Virginians will judge me on my 18-year record as a legislator and Attorney General and the specific plans I have laid out for our future -- not on a decades-old academic paper I wrote as a student during the Reagan era and haven't thought about in years."

**Can we expect people to judge Kagan's life experiences on real events instead of a thesis she wrote when she was much younger, or are women judged by a different standard than men?**

Posted by: SCVoter | May 17, 2010 10:39 PM | Report abuse

Astrogirl - Democratic control over the economy? By that do you mean the Democratic Party? So you favor a one party system? Guess you advocate throwing away the Constitution too.

Posted by: LMW6 | May 17, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

PostDC - by your comments can I assume that you give 10% of your time and money to charity or to a church to be used for charity because that is the teaching of Christ? The teaching of Christ never states that the Government is to take from the rich to give to the poor - nor is charity limited to the rich - remember the widow's mite? Socialism is the taking from some to give to others by force - that is not charity - that is theft.

Can I also assume that since you state you pay 51% of your income in taxes (income I assume) that you are actually a part of the 60% who pay income tax and not a part of the 50% who get a refund every year around April 15th? You do realize that the 50% who don't pay income taxes (who get a total refund of all income tax paid into the system during any work year) are the lower income folks don't you? Or have you bought the lies that the rich don't pay taxes because of Bush?

Posted by: LMW6 | May 17, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

PostDC - by your comments can I assume that you give 10% of your time and money to charity or to a church to be used for charity because that is the teaching of Christ? The teaching of Christ never states that the Government is to take from the rich to give to the poor - nor is charity limited to the rich - remember the widow's mite? Socialism is the taking from some to give to others by force - that is not charity - that is theft.

Can I also assume that since you state you pay 51% of your income in taxes (income I assume) that you are actually a part of the 60% who pay income tax and not a part of the 50% who get a refund every year around April 15th?

Posted by: LMW6 | May 17, 2010 6:51 PM | Report abuse

"This is not new news - Obama IS a socialist and everyone surrounding him is either a socialist or communist. Is this new? Wake up people. Wake UP!"

:-) This has to be the lamest, silliest, right-wing troll I've read in ages! :-)

Obama is surrounded by investment bankers & Goldman Sachs folks and is desperately propping up capitalism and the profit-seekers. He was no socialist on health care, nor is on any other matter that matters.

For a good primer on this, just read the wonderful essay here by Billy Wharton, the Socialist Party co-chair. "Obama's No Socialist, I Should Know!"

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/13/AR2009031301899.html

By the way, you can thank the socialists for the 8 hour work day, the end to child labor, the direct election of Senators, etc. Their early 20th century efforts made America better and kinder. Eventually, we will have democratic control over the economy and government and people's needs will be met.

It's too bad the President isn't a socialist!

Posted by: Astrogal | May 17, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

You did say Conservative BLOGGERS...right..well everyone with any brains knows Conservatives are Morons...what else is there to say..

Posted by: janetmramos | May 17, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Oh yea, being be humnist, a follower the the Christian teachings, boy that makes you a socialist by the cons' definition, not by the spirit that Jesus lived by and told us to follow.

Their interpretation is, the rich will be victims of such tyranic teachings fo heavens and earth belongs to them for they have been chosen and the rest of us haven placed to be their servants and contribute 51% OF WHATEVER WE HAVE LEFT.

Posted by: postDC | May 17, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Have any of you Obama haters read one single thing by a socialist, communist, or marxist or do you just plug your brain into Fox TV and click download?
Don't like big government? Let me point something out- the AZ law will lead to the invasion of government into every aspect of your life by flushing our constitution down the toilet! You're worried about socialism coming in the front door while you unlock and welcome facism to come in through the back door with your complete ignorance. Put your emotions aside and think, if you can.

Posted by: mzw67 | May 17, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

The whole issue seems like grasping at straws. Why would something written nearly 30 years ago protend to offer any insights to someone's, in this case Elena Kagan, current thinking?

The best way for America (and the US Senate) to determine her fitness/ appropriateness for the SCOTUS is to ask intelligent questions and receive thoughtful (as opposed to evasive or drivel) responses to them.

Somehow, some interest groups see no good in ANYTHING Obama does and automatically disqualifies their candidacy. From the other extreme, she should be automatically confirmed as she isn't a "Bushie." The conspiracy theorists (from either pole) does a diservice to benificial debate. Red herrings are brought up to confuse and obfuscate real discussion.

Let's cut out the supercilious and specious arguments/comments and get down to really examining Elena Kagan's fitness to serve as an Associate Justice on SCOTUS.

Posted by: dbear1 | May 17, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

This was funny... this regime and transparency??? Maybe they are adopting the "Little Orphan Anne" theme of "Tomorrow- Tomorrow!

Barry does not pretend to be a Socialist...he IS a Marxist. Look at who he has surrounded himself with in his own WH!! He is determined to create a Euro state here in the US...complete with Fiscal failure!!

Posted by: NeoConVeteran | May 17, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"Birds Of A Feather Flock Together". Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Kagen. When the RICH leave America, WHO will support the LAZY Democrats??

Posted by: markypolo | May 17, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Gee.... On one page we have a Post columnist worrying about whether Fox is supporting a Republican candidate for office and over here we find another Post columnist shilling for Obama.

What shocks me is that the Washington Post thinks we are all so unbelievably naive that we would BELIEVE the Obama Administration on anything. These guys lie more than hookers on payday and we see the Post trying to sustain it. Instead of being real journalists and investigating the truth of the claims, the Post is supporting the Administration's play to bypass the press to avoid those uncomfortable questions that would come from Fox News or The Wall Street Journal.

You can wipe the crust off of your nose now. I think you will get your Messiah Brown Eye Award for State Media Collective shills without any further competition.

Tomorrow we'll contact the Nobel committee and the Pulitzer committee for your nominations. Your future is fully secure, Comrade.

Posted by: rainmaker1145 | May 17, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

OPPOSE Kaga! We don't need an AGENDA-DRIVEN politician masquerading as an "apolitical" justice capable of making IMPARTIAL decisions.

Plus further questions remain about her ties to Goldman-Sachs from 2005 to 2008.

Posted by: tncdel | May 17, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Ah...........transparency. Don't hold your breath.

Posted by: apberusdisvet | May 17, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

This is not new news - Obama IS a socialist and everyone surrounding him is either a socialist or communist. Is this new? Wake up people. Wake UP!

Posted by: NO-bama | May 17, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Hope nobody holds my Thesis against me... I was a repuglican in college.

Posted by: Geopolitics101 | May 17, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

How does Solicitor General Kagan defend against THIS?

HOW COVERT U.S. GOV'T WARRANTLESS SURVEILLANCE USES 'SPOOFED' (FAKED) WEBSITES TO IMPOSE IDEOLOGICAL CENSORSHIP ON THE INTERNET

• If you are "targeted" by a rogue fusion center program for your politics, your comment to a political blog may appear only on a "spoofed" page visible over your connection, not on anyone else's.

http://nowpublic.com/world/u-s-govt-censors-net-political-speech-targeted-americans
http://nowpublic.com/world/how-u-s-spy-ops-censor-web-political-speech
OR NowPublic.com/scrivener (see "stories)

Posted by: scrivener50 | May 17, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

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