What Kagan should have said
There is something refreshing about Tom Coburn, the very conservative senator from Oklahoma who is one of the few in the chamber who is not a lawyer. In listening to Coburn question Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, I was finally able to articulate what has been nagging at me like a fresh mosquito bite.
Coburn cut to the chase: What would you say, he asked Kagan, to lead use to believe that you won't let your political views to sway your decisions as a judge? Kagan tap danced around the question, relying once again on her assertion that only law must dictate results. I, for one, believe her. But here's what I wish she would have said:
I can't and won't give anyone a guarantee about what approach I will or will not take. I can't and won't commit to doing anything other than being honest and hard-working and using my best judgment -- just as Chief Justice Roberts uses his -- to decide cases. You'll just have to trust -- as the man who won the presidential election apparently does -- that I have the brain power and the integrity to do the job. I will never sell my vote or sell out my principles, just as you would not want Justice Alito to sell his vote or sell out his principles.
She would never, EVER be allowed to get away with telling this truth. She'd get hammered mercilessly by Republicans, who'd take this as confirmation that she's a raging liberal. And she would risk offending some fragile egos on the left.
This is what it boils down for me: The people elected the president; the president chooses Supreme Court justices, and unless the Senate finds the nominee unqualified, unethical or so far out of the mainstream as to be wacky, then the president's choice must be respected -- and confirmed.
| June 29, 2010; 7:30 PM ET
Categories: Rodriguez | Tags: Eva Rodriguez
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