Tuesday, June 29, 2010

QUIZ TIME FOR ELENA KAGAN


Kagan's center stage this week -- the Supreme Court nominee faces the Senate Judiciary Committee and it may be a fun week for observers -- a lot of ugly jabs, and quite possibly a filibuster.

I like her.

Okay -- she doesn't have experience on the bench as a Judge. The Republicans are going to go after that. Will it hurt her chances? I don't think so.

Here are the main issues, I think, that are going to debated:

How would she vote about Gun Rights? At the moment, we just learned that the Supreme court overturned the ban on handguns in Chicago. (I'd hoped they wouldn't.) What about the paper Kagan wrote during her years with Clinton, advising that automatic weapons be banned? No doubt about it -- Gun Rights will raise a lot of hackles.

What about her Jewishness? In her master's thesis she wrote that Judges have prejudices and goals, and said that it was "not invalid or wrong" for a judge to promote his personal ethical values and social ideals. Though she's said, "I was just a dumb kid when I wrote that," that is going to be thoroughly dissected, and attacked.

And abortion? Roe v Wade? Pro-lifers are crusading against her, claiming her recommendations to Clinton supported pro-choice. Though the White House says she was just a staffer presenting Clinton with a variety of legal arguments, the National Right to Life Committee has written all the senators asking them to oppose Kagan. This is a big, big issue that can't be solved in this hearing, and there's going to be a lot of fiery talk.

What about Gay Rights? The GOP claims Kagan is anti-military -- she banned military recruiters when she was dean of Harvard. Kagan has openly stated her opposition to "Don't ask, don't tell," but on Gay marriage, she's said she'd defend the "Defense of Marriage Act," under which states don't have to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Feathers are going to fly -- this could get very muddy and nasty.

And then there's "Executive Power?" Kagan has stated that she believes federal spying laws are constitutional. She's suggested that only in "the rarest of circumstances" could a president circumvent Congress to conduct warrant-less wiretapping. She's agreed with Attorney General Holder, that terrorist detainees could be held without trial at Bagram Air Force Base in Afghanistan. (The issues are complicated. I'm not sure what I think -- it's major, but I don't think it'll drag on and on.)

There are other issues. But Kagan can say she has never promoted her own ideas -- she's just been doing the job she was hired to do.

Will the Republicans filibuster her? Will Elena Kagan be attacked as a Jew and Lesbian? Will those words be muttered, or called out?

It'll be a very interesting week of television.

My fingers are crossed. I think she's the right person, a good person to have on the bench of the Supreme Court.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Any incursions on my right to own firearms will be resented and REBELLED AGAINST. Anyone who thinks warrantless wiretaps are legal or righteous are raping the 4th Amendment. Cultural biases are not appropriate for a Judge on the Supreme Court. THEY should be students of the Constitution, not left or right wingers who see interpretations of the Constitution as necessarily reflective of current mores. I could give a damn about gay rights one way or another (it isn't my affair who screws who) but the spread of disease (AIDS) does concern me. As for her positions on abortion, I figure it's still a woman's choice; too bad she didn't make it before she got banged without protection from welcome and unwelcome advances. And that last circumstance where I feel a woman might want a gun - for those unwelcome advances...go for it.

Anonymous said...

Individuals,packing a gun in this day and age should have to meet more requirements than just having the price to buy the gun. There are responsibilities connected with 'rights'. Based on psychological testing and other techniques as well as the need to carry a gun should be assessed. Some individuals should be limited to a shooting range, under supervision and limitations if they must have a gun to shoot. Interpretation that the individual has 'rights' to 'pack' a gun is debatable, individual or militia that is a question for me. But if a person wants to rebel and be resentful against something we need to be sure it's within the law or you'll be stepping on others rights. Linking gay rights with the spread of Aids confounds me I don't understand how those ideas are connected. HIV/Aids is spread by the exchange of body fluids, bi-sexuals (many identfied heterosexuals are bi-sexual), and male and female prostitutes that are used by heterosexual males who do not use protection also are spreading infecting wives and girlfriends with HIV/Aids. Addicts sharing dirty needles also spread Aids. Blood,seamen,and vaginal fluids entering the anus, vaginal or mouth can infect any individual no matter their sexual preference. Transfusions also have been a source or medical or dental equipment not properly cleaned. So what the 'hey' does Gay rights have to do with spread of Aids? Any person that 'packs' a gun for unwanted advances or a dispute of any kind they might run in to should not be given license to carry a gun, don't need any cowboys or hot mamas packing guns, just to bully people. I support Kagan's nomination and hope she will be confirmed based on her intelligence, her work experience, interest and commitment to public service for all people. Culturally, we are all Americans, with family origins from many different places we are influenced by our families, our education and our environment. But I don't think that the blue team is anymore or less American than the red team. Division of the American people is not good for our country or solving the many problems we are experiencing. Scapegoating, name calling, misinformation, disinformation and no cooperation on any issue is wrong and destructive to our Nation. We can debate ideology, issues and policies but with civility and respect or we accomplish nothing in my opinion.

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