Texas Liberal

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Elena Kagan To Be Nominated To Supreme Court—History Of Court More Interesting Than Tedious Confirmation Process

President Obama has named Solicitor General Elena Kagan to be his Supreme Court nominee to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

(Above—Although nominated by Richard Nixon in 1970, Harry Blackmun turned out to be a good liberal on the Court. Justice Blackmun served 1970- 1994.)

Here is a CNN profile of Ms. Kagan. The CNN story is text rather than a video.

Is Ms. Kagan a liberal? Her record suggests she might be a liberal on some social issues. Ms. Kagan is opposed to the  “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy that discriminates against gay folks who want to join the military.

Is she a liberal on economic issues that might come before the court? Nobody knows. And since you can hardly get even a Democrat anymore to take aggressively liberal stands on economic questions, I bet we won’t hear much from Ms. Kagan on questions of the regulation of business and the rights of workers.

Some of my friends on the left have expressed concerned that Ms. Kagan is not so liberal.

Let us hope that Ms. Kagan proves to be a person who has empathy for the needs of working people, and who is someone who truly advocates from the bench for the little person in society.

In any case, Supreme Court confirmation battles are tedium defined.

Ms. Kagan will go around and meet Senators at their offices. There will be some hearings. Ms. Kagan will give evasive replies to stupid questions. There will be a long-winded debate on the floor of the Senate.

On the other hand, the history of the Supreme Court is interesting and will teach you something. Below are some links to learn about the history of the Supreme Court and the people who have served on the Court.

Instead of wasting your time with hearings that are likely to make you sleepy, read and learn about the living history of our nation.

All people are capable of understanding interesting and complex things. People just have to decide if they will take the time and make the effort to learn these things.

Here are the links:

The Supreme Court Historical Society has good information on the history of the court and offers many facts.

Here are some important cases in Supreme Court history.

Here’s a list of all 111 Supreme Court Justices to date.

The Oxford Companion To The Supreme Court is a useful reference. This book has brief but useful biographies of each Justice who has served on the court, and has accounts of many cases that have been decided over the years.

Here’s the Supreme Court web home.

Here’s a review of A People’s History of the Supreme Court by Peter Irons.

Here’s a review of The U.S. Supreme Court–The Pursuit of Justice edited by Christopher Tomlins.

May 10, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. “If all 41 Republican Senators vote no, Ms. Kagan would not be confirmed.”

    Not accurate. SCOTUS justices are confirmed on a simple majority vote, so even if Joe Lieberman and the Bill Nelsons and Blanche Lincoln and Mary “Moon” Landrieu and Evan Bayh all voted no along with every Repub, she would still make it to the Court.

    Comment by PDiddie | May 10, 2010

  2. Thank you catching that. I’m so used to the 60 vote hassle that I forgot the facts.

    Comment by Neil Aquino | May 10, 2010


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