Friday, April 9, 2010

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan? Or is she too hard on terror?

With Justice Stevens retiring, people are talking about Solicitor General Elena Kagan for the Supreme Court, again (see 2004 and 2009).

Some have suggested that President Obama would not nominate Ms. Kagan because she is Jewish. The Harvard Crimson writes:

Kagan’s religious affiliation may also impede her nomination. Justice Stevens is the Court’s only Protestant, and if Kagan, who is Jewish, were appointed, the court would be composed of six Catholics and three Jews.
According to Tushnet, that issue “has not quite surfaced yet,” but there have been some indications that it could factor into Obama’s decision.

Picking up on the same point, NBC Chicago points out Diane Wood might be a more likely candidate, for her Protestancy:

Also, in a quirk of history, Stevens is the lone remaining Protestant on the Supreme Court. (A hundred years ago, all the judges were Protestant.) Wood could fill in for him there, too: she lives in the suburbs, plays oboe in the North Shore Chamber Orchestra and is on her third husband.
It’s hard to get much WASPier than that.

But I see another reason why Kagan might not be nominated: Her defense of a law prohibiting aid for Hizballah, as recorded in the New York Times:

Solicitor General Elena Kagan defended the law at issue in the case, which bars providing material support to terrorist organizations, as “a vital weapon in this nation’s continuing struggle against international terrorism.”
Even seemingly benign help is prohibited, Ms. Kagan said.
“Hezbollah builds bombs,” she said of the militant Islamic group. “Hezbollah also builds homes. What Congress decided was when you help Hezbollah build homes, you are also helping Hezbollah build bombs. That’s the entire theory behind the statute.”

I can see President Obama overlooking Ms. Kagan's Jewish roots, or even favoring them as a way to balance his horrible press over Israel ("Some of my best friends are Jewish..."). But a justice who openly declares that Hizballah builds bombs? No way this candidate makes it on to that man's court.


  1. But a justice who openly declares that Hizballah builds bombs? No way this candidate makes it on to that man's court.

    I hate to say it, but I think you are right. Pres. Obama has an agenda that doesn't seem to allow for statements such as that.

  2. Now I like this candidate. She has my vote. :)

  3. But a justice who openly declares that Hizballah builds bombs? No way this candidate makes it on to that man's court.

    I don't get it. She's already the lawyer for his administration with responsibility for speaking on such issues publicly before the Supreme Court. In fact, she made that statement on behalf of the administration.

    I could see the President, like everyone, maintaining a foolish litmus test around something like abortion, but views on Hezbollah are not generally something people think of when arguing about Supreme Court nominees.

  4. Hi Isaac,
    Yes, it was intended as black humor. Although I do disagree with your last point; sensitivity about identifying Muslim terrorists has crept into many new areas of administrative policy lately.

  5. The media is reporting that Elena Kagan was picked to be the next Sct Judge. . Is he listening to you?

  6. Obama picked her - no surprise here. When will people learn that Obama is not a socialist, not anti-Israel, and is in fact generally more centrist, pragmatic and realistic than most Democrats? (And certainly more so than most Republicans.) And Kagan is exactly his type.

  7. Catalyzer, if you actually believe that, I have several bridges to sell you on the cheap!

  8. I too am sick and tired of the anti Obama rantings. His FCC commisioner is an orthodox Jew (he went to YUHS) Genakowski. Yes, he is leftist for sure but that's not automatically anti-Israel or anti-jew. Give the guy a break. Look at all the people who thought "Goge" Bush was "gog" from Eezekial's prophecy another nutty prediction fails. Obama stop making him into some evil monster.

  9. Neil-

    Catalyzer, Anonymous 3:22 AM-
    It's not about Obama being anti-Israel at all, and certainly not about him being anti-Jew. It's about Obama's approach of trying to negotiate reasonable people into suicidal concessions, rather than try to negotiate suicidal people into reasonable concessions.

  10. Yes, Obama has proven that he is out to destroy Israel. He is the first President to insist that Israel stop building on Jewish land in its capital, Jerusalem. He is meddling with the internal affairs of Israel by snubbing Netanyahu and embracing leftist Barak. Obama's Jews are leftists who, like the evil Neturai Karta (ultra-orthodox, anti-Zionist, pro-Iran) feel that Israel needs to be pushed aside to satisfy Obama's world view.