Bench Memos

Re: Will the Left Oppose Elena Kagan?

I asked three weeks ago whether the Left would work to prevent the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to an upcoming Supreme Court vacancy and outlined the reasons why self-described “progressives” would not be happy with a Kagan nomination.  An answer of sorts may be provided by this Salon article by Glenn Greenwald from last week—“The horrible prospect of Supreme Court Justice Cass Sunstein”—which I’ve just run across.  While Greenwald devotes the bulk of his article to describing how horrible he finds Cass Sunstein to be, he adds this vigorous denunciation of Kagan:

The person who many believe is the leading candidate to replace Stevens — Obama’s Solicitor General Elena Kagan — has a record that is almost as bad as Sunstein’s when it comes to executive power abuses, civil liberties, and “War on Terror” radicalism.  Unlike the Sotomayor-for-Souter substitution, which essentially maintained the Court’s balance, replacing Stevens with the likes of Cass Sunstein or Elena Kagan would move the Court dramatically to the Right, especially in the areas of executive power and civil liberties, where a fragile 5-4 majority has provided at least some minimal safeguards over the last decade.  

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