Thursday, July 1, 2010

Arlen Specter Upset With Kagan

Arlen Specter is unhappy that Elena Kagan has not revealed her take on substantive legal questions. Given the potentially contentious nature of confirmation hearings, candidates often make general statements about supporting precedent and judicial deference. Kagan has not strayed from this script. This fact has Specter fuming, as The Blog of the Legal Times reports:
"You have followed the pattern which has been in vogue since Bork,” he said, referring to conventional wisdom that Supreme Court nominees have been hesitant to say much about their legal views after the nomination of the very substantive Judge Robert Bork failed in 1987. “It would be my hope that we could find some place between voting no and having some sort of substantive answers, but I don’t know that it would be useful to continue these questions any further."
Kagan's answer to Specter's question (about the legal standard in a particular line of cases) seems abundantly fair. She said that before deciding whether to reverse the test, she would have to read legal arguments and confer with her colleagues. This response, however, did not satisfy Specter. Now that Specter is a "lame duck" Senator, he does not have to appease any political party -- particularly the Democrats (his newly chosen party).

1 comment:

Hippi Chicki Niki said...

I can't help but be amused that a politically moderate guy who switches parties and admits he did it so that he can keep his job criticized Kagan for taking a moderate/evasive route in order to get the job.

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