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Bench Memos

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Kagan’s New View of Confirmation Hearing Questions



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In her now-infamous University of Chicago Law Review article, then-professor Elena Kagan argued that at a Supreme Court confirmation hearing the “critical inquiry” in which Senators should engage “concerns the votes she would cast, the perspective she would add (or augment), andthe direction in which she would move the institution.”  In her testimony today, Kagan has maintained that she thinks her article was correct, but that it “got the balance wrong” in where it drew the line between what sorts of questions nominees should or should not answer.  What does she mean by this?  Senator Kohl asked Kagan what direction she would move the Court if confirmed, directly paraphrasing Kagan’s own words, and she refused to answer. Clear evidence that the position she advocated in he 1995 article is no longer operative.



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