Kagan: A Sleeper Socialist or Right Winger?
Today President Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace retiring justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court, positioning the court to have three female justices for the first time.
At 50, Kagan, who has received bipartisan praise for her tenure as dean of Harvard Law School, would be the youngest member of the court. Because Republicans in the US Senate refused to consider her appointment to the US Appeals Court during the Clinton years, she is the first High Court appointee since 1972 to not have judicial experience.
The last were William H. Rehnquist and Lewis Powell, both appointed by Richard Nixon in 1972, although she does have extensive experience in and around the Supreme Court, having clerked for her mentor and hero Thurgood Marshall, and currently being the highest Obama administration official who routinely presents the administration's positions to the Court.
Seven Senate Republicans voted to confirm Kagan as solicitor general, although now that the entire Republican Party is in 2010 election mode and routinely trying to obstruct everything Obama does no matter how innocuous, expect viscious attacks on her from both the far right commentators and Republican Senators looking for hard-right voters in the upcoming elections.
Kagan's record has some to both horrify and please those on the left, but because she hasn't spent time on the bench issuing opinions so it's hard to know where her heart really is.
She has a long record of doing her job, whether it's running Harvard or defending her President's positions that seem to extend many Bush policies.
But already her undergraduate thesis on Socialism in New York - which seems in parts to praise socialism - is being hit hard by Reich activists like Glenn Beck to allege that she's a sleeper socialist of some sort.
If so, then she has my vote!