Excerpts for Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
"Solicitor General Kagan, there are always a lot of critics on the sidelines. But you have actually been in the arena, as a manager, as a teacher, as an adviser, as a consensus-builder and as a lawyer.
In every job you've had, you've worked very hard and you've done very well. That is why you are before us today being considered, in the words of Teddy Roosevelt, for this high achievement."
"It strikes me that it takes a pretty extraordinary person who, after working in the Clinton administration, can still get a standing ovation from the conservative Federalist Society, who inspires a group of 600 law students to show up for a rally wearing "I Love Elena" T- shirts, who is widely credited with calming the factionalism that had previously roiled your law school."
"In several different jobs now, you have successfully managed lawyers and, worse yet, law professors, a group that can certainly be described as fearless in the face of supervision."
"After reading the book, Justice Blackmun wrote a note to Scott Turow. He wrote, "Surely there is a way to teach law, strict and demanding though it may be, with some glimpse of its humaneness and basic good. You so properly point out that there is room for flexibility in different answers and that not all is black or white. If I ever learned anything on the bench," Justice Blackmun said, "it is that.""
"I also see in you someone, like your former boss Thurgood Marshall, someone who thinks that the law is more than just an academic exercise. I for one would like to see someone who thinks very deeply about the consequences that legal choices and legal decisions have on real people."
"I would also welcome a justice who, in the Exxon Valdez case, as pointed out by my colleague Senator Whitehouse, would have thought, as Justice Stevens did, about the real-world impacts of slashing the damages that the jury had awarded to the 32,000 fishermen whose livelihoods were tragically impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989.
While I do not know what you have done -- what you would have done in these cases, your practical experience leads me to believe you may have at least considered such things."
"As you know, more than one-third of all Supreme Court justices throughout history didn't have prior judicial experience, including Justices Rehnquist and Frankfurter and Brandeis."
"I think your practical experience will be helpful, should you be confirmed to the Supreme Court, and I look forward to asking you more about that. As a former prosecutor, I'm particularly interested in your approach to criminal law cases. When I was the Hennepin County attorney, I saw firsthand how the law can impact the lives of real people."
"The women who came before you to be considered by this committee helped blaze the trail. And although your record stands on its own, you are also, to borrow a line from Isaac Newton, standing on the shoulders of giants.
In the course of more than two centuries, 111 justices have served on the Supreme Court. Only three have been women. If you are confirmed, you would be the fourth. And for the first time in its history, three women would take their places on the bench when arguments are heard in the fall."
"I'd like to add one additional consideration to the three standards I mentioned last year. I'd like to see a Supreme Court justice who is able to go into the backroom where the justices meet and where no ordinary citizens are present and bring some real-world perspective to the room.
I'd like to see someone who wouldn't expect the victim in an employment discrimination case to go rifling through her male coworkers' desks to see what their pay stubs say. I'd like to see someone who wouldn't expect prosecutors to bring a crime lab analyst to every trial, even when the crime lab's findings aren't disputed."
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