Harry S. Truman once said, “Whenever you put a man on the Supreme Court he ceases to be your friend.” Will that rein true with Elena Kagan, the administration’s latest appointee? With all deference to our thirty-third President, I’m not so sure if that’s the case in today’s politics. Considering the intimate ties Ms. Kagan shares with President Obama and the highly partisan nature of this administration, we can safely assume that once appointed, Ms. Kagan will not only remain Obama’s friend…she may be his ideological double.
Short on experience, long on agenda: that’s my headline for Elena Kagan, the woman the Obama administration wants to see as the next justice to the highest court in the land. So what do we know about her? Number one, she hasn’t served a day as a judge. That makes her a perfect candidate for an administration that values academia over actual experience. Beyond that, she has virtually no litigation experience prior to her current post as Solicitor General, and a scare number of academic writings to support her pledges to be a “modest” addition to the Supreme Court.
What we do know about Elena Kagan should concern anyone who believes in the Constitution as the ultimate authority for interpreting law..like Senator Jim DeMint from South Carolina. What bothered DeMint wasn’t Ms. Kagan’s lack of judicial insight; it’s the fundamental misunderstanding of where these precedents originate. In his own words,
“. . . When Supreme Court decisions are based upon layers of precedents unmoored from the Constitution, it becomes like that old schoolroom game of telephone. Typically, the original message becomes so distorted as it’s passed from person to person that the final statement is comically erroneous.”
During the hearings, Kagan consistently referenced precedent as the basis of judgment for previous cases. But relying on precedent over the Constitution is exactly the kind of progressive, “living” Constitution philosophy this administration needs, in order to support its unconstitutional, big-government legislation. At a time when Americans want a return to founding principles, the appointment of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court looks like a fossil from the bygone “hope and change” era that’s got so many of us anxiously awaiting the midterm elections.
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