Kagan: She's no Barak
The exchange between Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan and Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) was perhaps the most enlightening thus far about her approach to judging.
Grassley raised questions about Kagan's 1983 thesis at Oxford University in which she examined the work of the liberal Warren Court. Kagan, who had not yet attended law school, asserted that "judges will often try to mold and steer the law in order to promote certain ethical values and achieve certain social ends. Such activity is not necessarily wrong or invalid.”
Grassley asked if she still believed that, Kagan all but disavowed that position. "It's dangerous to write a paper about the law before you spend a day in law school," Kagan said. "I didn't know a whole lot of law." Kagan added that it was "not appropriate" for judges to make decisions based on "social justice" issues that are external to the case. She also rejected the admittedly liberal and social activist approach of Israeli Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak.
| June 29, 2010; 4:25 PM ET
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