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Another right-wing attack on Kagan is a bust

Looks like another attack on Elena Kagan making the rounds on the right may prove to be a bust.

The latest: Conservative writers are upset because Kagan offered kind words of praise for a retired Israeli judge who is one of the most forthright advocates of judicial activism in the world.

The only problem with this attack line: This judge also received equally effusive praise from a Supreme Court justice who was appointed by a president named Ronald Reagan and goes by the name Antonin Scalia.

The retired Israeli judge in question is Aharon Barak, who is widely derided in conservative legal circles because of his aggressive efforts to advance liberal causes. He interpreted Israeli laws as forbidding discrimination against gays and Arab citizens and offered opinions that formed the basis for laws compelling the government to alleviate poverty -- supposedly a usurpation of the powers of elected officials.

Kagan praised Barak in 2006 as "my judicial hero" and "the judge who has best advanced democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and justice." This, naturally, has conservatives sounding the alarm about Kagan's intentions, and Republican Senators are expected to aggressively quiz Kagan at her hearings as to whether she shares Barak's taste for judicial activism.

But it turns out Scalia offered equally effusive prase for Barak at a 2007 ceremony honoring him, according to The Jewish Daily Forward.

At that event, the Forward reported, Scalia acknowledged his disagreements with Barak, but affirmed "a profound respect for the man, one that trumped their fundamental philosophical, legal and constitutional disagreements."

The point is that general praise doesn't signal automatic lockstep agreement. This latest attack line, at bottom, reflects the dilemma of Kagan's opponents: There's little to go on to gauge her actual views. So any bit of praise she offered for a judge who conservatives disagree with becomes grist to attack her -- even if the praise is boilerplate.

This one seems likely to gain as much traction as the attack on Kagan for praising Thurgood Marshall did.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 26, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  Supreme Court  
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Next: Time for Sestak to clean up his mess

Comments

It's clear Scalia is a rabid activist in this case.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 26, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I guess we're back to Kagan's softball playing then.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 26, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

Since I can not do so, please post a link to John Yoo Can Torture All You Wish To, Mr. Cheney, ob-edit, about Ms. Kagan, in today's NY Times.

The Times looks like it has decided to become the Fox News of the print media.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

IOKIYAR.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 26, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Today's Home Repair Tip;

From British Petroleum CEO, Tony Hayworth

Should a water pipe burst in your basement;

For the first thirty four days, try to pump out as much of the gushing water that you can.

After thirty four days, if you are not able to pump out the water, as fast as it continues to leak, then you should start to make attempts to plug the leak.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

You are on some roll, Greg.

You seriously don't see a difference between Kagan's and Scalia's comments????

Respectful disagreement versus idolization of his judicial philosophy???

Scalia respected and was friends with far left Justices like Brennan and Marshall, too. Are we to believe that gave them the Scalia seal of approval?

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 26, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Scalia was not friends with either of those two Justices, except in your Toon Town Lawyer, Fantasy World.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

COVINGTON, La. - BP said Wednesday it had begun injecting mud into the blown-out well in the hopes of stopping the Gulf oil disaster, shortly after the Coast Guard gave it a green light and its chief executive issued an apology of sorts.

The oil giant said the operation started at 2 p.m. ET.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 26, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

@lmsinca Thanks for the update. Let's keep our fingers crossed!

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 26, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

I'm trying to watch the live feed when I get a chance RUK but it's been cutting in and out. We could use a little luck over the next couple of days. We're also getting our entire house re-piped today, under the slab leak, so I have my own plumbing problems, LOL.

Posted by: lmsinca | May 26, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Liam the Liar said:

"Scalia was not friends with either of those two Justices, except in your Toon Town Lawyer, Fantasy World."


NY Times said:

"Justice Brennan seldom persuaded Justice Scalia to vote his way in ideologically charged cases, but they got along well, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg told C-Span last year.

“Justice Scalia considered Justice Brennan his best friend on the court at that time, and he thought the feeling was reciprocated,” Justice Ginsburg said. “The public wouldn’t know it from reading an opinion by Brennan, a dissent by Scalia, or the other way around, but these were two men who genuinely liked each other and enjoyed each other’s company.” "

This is an example of why Liam has no credibility.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 26, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

The lameliar would be more in line with the post.

Posted by: obrier2 | May 26, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Liam-still,
You should probably defer to quarterbrain on all matters of jurisprudence, because he did get an "A+" in Con Law while wowing the legal world as a student at "top 5 law school." Just ask him about it. I'm sure that despite his modesty he would regale you with his MANY academic and professional accomplishments.

I hear tell that he was also milk monitor in his Con Law class more than ANY liberal.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 26, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Quarterback seconded. Seriously, you don't see the difference between showing respect despite "fundamental disagreements" and calling the guy one's "judicial hero"?

Kagan fully supports a radical activist, Scalia fundamentally disagrees. The latter is not a surprise. Come on now.

Posted by: Saecula | May 26, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Toon Town Lawyer: Learn to read:

"Got along well", is not the same as being friends, as you claimed. Lots of people get along well, in the work place, without being actual friends.

Scalia only joined the court in the last few years that Brennan and Marshall were on it. They were then both very elderly, and never socialized outside the court with Nino, so spare us all your fabrications.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

""Got along well", is not the same as being friends, as you claimed. Lots of people get along well, in the work place, without being actual friends."

LOLOL

I guess you are calling Ruth Bader Ginsburg a liar, and everyone else who has said Scalia and Brennan were friends.

The same liberal Ruth Bader Ginsburg who by all accounts is also a close friend of Scalia's. Oh, and so is Stevens.

LOL, you should just admit you said something stupid.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 26, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Greg and Liam probably won't want to be reminded of Obama's own floor speech on John Roberts' nomination.

http://obamaspeeches.com/031-Confirmation-of-Judge-John-Roberts-Obama-Speech.htm

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 26, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Quarterback thirded.

(And please, qb, show some mercy on poor liam!)

Posted by: sbj3 | May 26, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Too funny. The KY Libertarian Party is throwing Rand Paul under the bus.

"The Libertarian Party is considering running a candidate in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race, saying GOP nominee Rand Paul – the son of a former Libertarian presidential candidate – has betrayed the party's values.

Party Vice Chairman Joshua Koch said Wednesday that Paul has been a black eye for Libertarians because of stands he's taken on issues, including his criticism of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Koch said Paul is not a Libertarian. He called Paul and his Democratic opponent, Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, "faces of the same bad coin."

more here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/26/kentucky-libertarians-may_n_590387.html

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 26, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Toon Town Lawyer: Like I said before; learn to read. You can not even comprehend the quote that you posted;

Here is what you posted:

"“Justice Scalia considered Justice Brennan his best friend on the court at that time, and he thought the feeling was reciprocated,” Justice Ginsburg said."

Ginsburg is only stating what Scalia said and thought about the relationship.

Brennan was affable to all those he met. That does not mean that they were all his personal friends.

You also claimed that Scalia was great friends with Justice Marshall. More of your Toon Town Lawyer balderdash.

Spare us all your silly, legal aide to Monica Goodling, exaggerations and distortions. You are no lawyer.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"(And please, qb, show some mercy on poor liam!)
"

Okay, you are right. It isn't right to pick on him. I'll go back to ignoring.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 26, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Quarter Brain;

I have had you answering to the name Toon Town Lawyer, over and over. You really are a moron.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 26, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Scalia -- clearly no respect for, nor friendship with, liberal judges.

http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=4053142&page=1

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 26, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Greg's own words about Kagan and Scalia:

"Kagan praised Barak in 2006 as "my judicial hero" and "the judge who has best advanced democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and justice.""

"At that event, the Forward reported, Scalia acknowledged his disagreements with Barak, but affirmed "a profound respect for the man, one that trumped their fundamental philosophical, legal and constitutional disagreements.""

Same or different?

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 26, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

quarterbrain,
You've just provided us all with ample evidence of why nobody buys your claim that you are a lawyer. You are inept at logic. You also seem to be pathologically incapable of exercising even the slightest degree of intellectual honesty. Your tortured arguments hang on errant assumptions, or as is the case today, misrepresentations of fact. You conveniently recast quotations to fit your own ends.

Please remember that the practices you employ in your imaginary courtrooms aren't very convincing or effective here in the real world.

Posted by: Gasman1 | May 26, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

"or as is the case today, misrepresentations of fact."

Cite them.

"inept at logic"

Show it.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 26, 2010 5:31 PM | Report abuse

Wow! Do you think Justice Scalia is a Lesbian!?

Posted by: baworks | May 26, 2010 8:11 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with many of Scalia's opinions, but at least he seems to be logically consistent and presents valid arguments for his cases. I don't feel the same way about Roberts and Alito -- they are so plainly conservative activists it hurts, actually seizing on cases to reach conclusions that have little or nothing to do with the original legal point.

Posted by: Acharn | May 27, 2010 5:54 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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