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Elena Kagan, the Weekly Standard's choice

Steve Benen has some fun with Bill Kristol's Sunday morning endorsement of Elena Kagan for the open seat on the Supreme Court. I sense some confusion or skepticism about Kristol's intentions when he calls Kagan "a very respectable choice."

Might I suggest that he really thinks Kagan is a very respectable choice? Kristol's magazine, The Weekly Standard, has occasional meet-and-greets with the likes of Supreme Court justices. That's common practice for Washington conservative magazines -- the American Spectator has regular dinners with power players, too. And from what I've heard, since Kagan became solicitor general, Justice Antonin Scalia has beamed about how smart she is. Fairly or unfairly, conservatives don't think that Justice Sonia Sotomayor has the pull with her colleagues to break the 5-4 conservative majority on important cases. They do think that Kagan could do this.

There's a second reason you'll hear conservatives praise Kagan, and Glenn Greenwald captured it well -- many believe she is more deferential to executive power than Justice John Paul Stevens turned out to be. So I think there's a combination of respect and bargaining at work here.

By David Weigel  |  April 12, 2010; 12:10 PM ET
Categories:  Supreme Court  
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