Obama's pick adds mystery to Court bench

The new choice for the Supreme Court has been named, and that name is Elena Kagan. Unlike some other choices for the current vacant Court position, I’ve never heard of her, and I’m not alone. Perhaps some anonymity is a good thing, but it’s also a bad thing.

After being selected it didn’t take long for the pundits to begin their dance of idiocy. This time, it was not a dance of attack but of grasping for knowledge, for they seem to know almost as little about her as I did. Now that her name has been out for a bit longer, the actual question of her fitness to serve as a justice can be brought forth for examination.

One Reuters article started with “the top Republican in the Senate demanded assurances on Wednesday that President Barack Obama’s solicitor general and friend, Elena Kagan, would be free of White House influence if confirmed as a Supreme Court justice.”

A McClatchy article added the choice of Kagan could influence coming November elections, citing both Arizona and Pennsylvania as examples where such influence has already occurred.

“Rep. Joe Sestak, the Democratic challenger to former Republican-turned-Democratic incumbent Senator Arlen Specter, is blasting Specter for voting against Kagan’s confirmation as solicitor general last year, when Specter was in the GOP.”

On the bright side, now we know more about her. On the down side, have our Republican values decayed so much that the appointment of a justice affects elections? I mean the fact that we’re a republic, not a democracy, just like Great Britain is a constitutional monarchy, not a democracy.

Granted, a justice receives a life position, and theoretically they do wield power, even if they’re not really supposed to, but that’s a separate debate for a political science class. My point here is since this woman is a relative non-entity, her appointment will probably be relatively smooth, and as a result, a rather clever move for Obama.

It’s anticipated by some her Senate confirmation will be smooth and uneventful, which if so, will be even better for her because not only will she no longer be a non-entity after the confirmation, she is also liked by both parties as an acceptable choice. Though there is a question of whether she is independent from Obama and will not just serve as someone to help his policies pass any future Supreme Court disputes, which may happen with the health care reform bill.

Whether her appointment will go smoothly and whether she is independent of Obama’s grasp, the fact that little is known about her or her platform will ensure an interesting time in the Senate. They still have to accept her for the job, though.


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