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Kagan's Supreme Court nomination, inappropriate comments

The news overnight that President Obama will nominate Solicitor General Elena Kagan today to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court has produced a predictable, highly partisan and too often inappropriate string of comments from our readers.

Those who would oppose any nomination a Democratic president would make worry about excessive liberalism. Some worry that Kagan has not been a judge, although that has been true of justices in the past. Others think she's just right.

As Robert Barnes and Anne E. Kornblut write, "Kagan is the government's top appellate lawyer and representative at the Supreme Court. She was confirmed last year by the Senate in a 61 to 31 vote, and was the first woman confirmed to hold the job."

Many comments overnight violated the Post's standards and the comment boards on the story had to be closed for awhile and are now being closely monitored. I have often defended unedited comment boards on the grounds that they provide a true window into what people feel and think, but a certain level of civility is a reasonable minimum standard.

We'll start with jeffwacker, who wrote, "There will be inevitable opposition from people who wanted someone who shares all their political views. I actually anticipate that some of these concerns will come from the left, since Kagan is pretty centrist. In the end, though, it's hard to argue that she lacks the preparation or intellect to serve on the Court..."

Aaron20011 said, "A smart choice. The Republicans will make a little noise, but she'll be easily confirmed in the end. I'd estimate she'll end up being confirmed with 65 to 70 votes in the Senate."

query0 asked, "So, will the Party of No try to block this nomination after Kagan having won her previous appointment by a significant majority? Unfortunately, I fear it will."

vwcat said, "it will be nice to see another woman on the court."

postfan1 wrote, "She's a well-educated shill for the left, who lacks judicial experience. Guaranteed to bring the liberal views of academia to the court. This is par for the course for blatantly political appointments to the court."

gmss said, "The jurist from the western US or who attended institutions outside the ivy league are missing on the bench."

NoWeCant wrote, "Another bottom of the barrel left-wing activist getting their hands on power. On the bright side, with no experience of being on the bench she will be the most unrestricted activist and intellectually timid member on the court. Meaning less chance of her impacting the Kennedy swing vote. Repubs best focus on Nov."

camasca said, "Only one or two more women appointments and we'll have a bench that more accurately reflects the gender split in the nation. It's about time."

KarlD wrote, "Republicans and neoconservatives are cheering the selection everywhere (in their cups). Excessive executive deference, incompetence in arguing opinions, ties to Goldman-Sachs, scanty publication record, craven refusal to stand up for her principles at Harvard regarding recruiting, diversity hiring (38 whites, one Asian), slovenly appearance: everything a Republican can love."

All comments on the main article are here.

There are also comments on related articles including Robert Barnes's sidebar on Kagan's biography.

twm1 wrote, "For all the right winger who are going to mindlessly parrot the GOP taking point that she has no experience as a judge, I'd like to point out that Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist had no experience as judges when Richard Nixon appointed them."

jkarlinsky said, "So she doesn't have judicial experience. Big deal. Scalia doesn't have honesty experience. Thomas doesn't have intelligence experience. And Alito and Roberts, what can you say about those bozos, other than they were nominated by the bozo in chief... Kagan should do just fine."

SavingGrace wrote, "Curious to watch as Obama panders to his favored constituencies in his selections. Unfortunate that he couldn't have picked someone for their ability alone, without paying homage to gender, sexual orientation and academia. Personally, I would have preferred to see a judge with a rich record of sound decisions that support the intent of the Constitution."

thelaw1 wrote, "Obama replaced a liberal with a liberal. Stevens, Kagen, and Obama are fellow travelers. So the court remains what it was."

samuellenn wrote, "The problem is not that see doesn't have experience as a judge she is clearly a smart lady but the problem is she has experience with Obama we need someone who loves america not someone hows agenda is to change it for the worse guess you libs can't wait for social justice."

All comments on this article are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  May 10, 2010; 9:26 AM ET
Categories:  Supreme Court  | Tags: Kagan, Obama, Supreme Court  
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another "checker move" by the President...when HE'S PLAYING CHESS...

~oh boy~

Posted by: analgesic33 | May 12, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

There ought to be a law prohibiting job-applicants who sound like Archie Bunker from cashing in on their "ethnicity." Kagan's New York accent is more All-American than Bugs Bunny, yet she still wants to be perceived as an oppressed immigrant!

Posted by: vava1 | May 10, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

lemme see if i get this. the wapo, once upon a time a respected newspaper in every sense of that term, spends a decade assembling a stable of soreheads, crackpots, reactionarys, randian twits, and unemployed dubya factotums which it calls its columnists, and it is shocked that a considerable part of its readership responds to obama's nominee in a fashion that would embarass an alabama klansman?

Posted by: jimfilyaw | May 10, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Maybe there should be questions to nominees about their recognition of the biblical origin of our legal system. See for instance:

“Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice!” 2 Sam 15:4 (St. James Version)

“And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.” Deut 1:16 (St. James Version)

“Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges,” Deut 19:17 (St. James Version)

“When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. Ex 18:16

“For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth; because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not.” 1 Samuel 3:13

“For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbor.” Ex 22:9

“Thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff?” Gen 31:37

“set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both.” Gen 31:37

“Then the congregation shall judge between the slayer and the revenger of blood according to these judgments” Num 35:24

“Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. Leviticus 19:15

“And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and enquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment” Deuteronomy 17:9

“And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother; then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto his brother: so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.” Deuteronomy 19:18-19.

Posted by: kay_sieverding | May 10, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

The Post is now homophobic, as these are the "inappropriate comments". Sad to see such a great newspaper continue to decline so markedly.

Posted by: peregrine1 | May 10, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm afraid I don't follow. Are these meant to be examples of inappropriate comments? They seem very fair to me.

Posted by: porvetti | May 10, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Kagan's confirmation should be quick and easy and that will help Congress get on with other matters. It sounds like there could be another S.C. opening coming too.

Posted by: kay_sieverding | May 10, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Those who would oppose any proposal for a Democratic president would worry about excessive liberalism. Some worry that Kagan has been a judge, Kagan Supreme Court

Posted by: susan166 | May 10, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Ms Kagan brings a badly needed skill to the court--the ability to work with people of differing view points. She is a consensus builder, besides being the intellectual challenge to some of the most conservative justices.
Interesting that the court will have 6 Catholics and 3 Jews. No wonder all the WASP Republicans have their knickers in a knot !

Posted by: jmsbh | May 10, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

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