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Opening Arguments

Kagan revealed. Oops

Bless Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom Coburn, whose questions to Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan are actually eliciting some of her thoughts on constitutional issues. His question about whether a federal law requiring Americans to eat "three vegetables and three fruits" every day would be a legitimate exercise of the power to regulate interstate commerce had the nomineee hemming and hawing, bobbing and weaving, and she never really answered the question. It was hard to listen to that without suspecting that Elena Kagan would let the federal government in general and Congress speficially do just about anything anybody could dream up, no matter how outrageous.

And then he asked her about "natural rights" -- you know, those rights we have just because we're human, and which governments should protect as their primary duty -- and it wasn't clear she actually recognizes them:

 Note that she described the duties of a justice as to "enforce the Constitution and laws," thus suggesting that the latter command an authority equal to the former. In fact, the Constitution is superior to the laws because they must conform to its requirements. But if the rights recognized by the Constitution aren't independent of and superior to government, then they will be whatever those who write and interpret the laws say they are, just as George III and the English Parliament claimed.

Don't think I'm going to like her court tenure much. She's no Clarence Thomas, that's for sure.


Bob G.
Fri, 07/02/2010 - 11:38am

While watching the hearings (and Kagan's "answers"), the phrase "shuck and jive" keeps coming to mind...wonder why?

Fri, 07/02/2010 - 1:19pm

She's no Clarence Thomas. I agree. Thomas never says anything and never votes differently from Scalia. Scalia is an "originalist," meaning we must read the Constitution exactly as it was originally written. That would permit Mr. Scalia to keep Mr Thomas as a slave. Yep, she's no Clarence Thomas.
You know as well as I do that you'd be singing her praises if a Republican had nominated her. You are transparent, sir.

john b. kalb
Fri, 07/02/2010 - 3:54pm

littlejohn - What a perfect name for "a little place to take a pee!" Sure fits your rhetoric.

Fri, 07/02/2010 - 5:26pm

Better watch it littlejohn. Like most GOPers, Leo can dish it out, but he can't take it.

Fri, 07/02/2010 - 6:59pm


Justice Thomas ' opinion on "McDonald v. Chicago" supported the majority ruling but his approach to buttress the 2nd Amendment's individual right to keep and bear arms emphasized the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the the 14th Amendment, while Messrs. Scalia, Roberts, Alito and Kennedy relied entirely upon the language of the Second Amendment to uphold the right.

Indeed Ms. Kagen is not, nor can she ever be the jurist that Clarence Thomas is. She was hand picked by the president because she has a ring in her nose that just fits the President's little finger.

If you read Thomas' opinion on this case, you will know that he is not, nor could he ever be a slave, but he recognizes the racist nature of gun control laws. On the other hand, Obamafan Kagen knows only obedience to power,

So perhaps it would be better if small minds didn't butt into this adult conversation.

Lewis Allen
Fri, 07/02/2010 - 10:38pm

Terms like "a ring in her nose" and "Obamafan" are the currency of small minds. So Gadfly, maybe it's you that should stay out of the conversation.

Sun, 07/04/2010 - 5:55pm

Lewis, do you doubt for one moment that Obama's solicitor general was nominated for any other reason than to maintain the liberal seat on the Supreme court in order that the president can maneuver the court for his private benefit? She certainly has no qualifications to justify her nomination and she broke US law by denying military recruiters access to Harvard students.

I am sure that if it is OK to have a tax-cheat as the head of the IRS, then a lawbreaker on the Supreme Court should be no surprise. You will soon learn that I am not inclined toward using PC language, but my responses are also more than one sentence long. As a famous Democrat lawmaker often said:

"Beam me up, Scotty."

Lewis Allen
Sun, 07/04/2010 - 9:47pm

Private benefit? See, that's where conservatives get it wrong. Liberals aim for the public benefit. The private benefit is your stomping grounds. And yes, I would hope that the man I voted for would appoint a liberal, and not a conservative like Scalia. To the victor, my friend, go the spoils. And for the record, I never once begrudged George W. Bush his choice of nominee.

As to your assertion that Kagan has "no qualifications" to justify her nomination, I'm sure you know that until fairly recently, it was not uncommon to choose people who were not practicing lawyers or judges to serve on the high court. There's certainly no constitutional reason she should not serve.