Bench Memos

Scott Brown’s Home Run

Sen. Scott Brown just announced on the Senate floor that he will vote against the confirmation of Obama nominee Elena Kagan for a seat on the Supreme Court. This shows real bravery on his part, as he is sure to face criticism from the Massachusetts press, particularly as Kagan hails most recently from Massachusetts and still has strong support there. In his public statement, Brown pointed out Kagan’s extraordinary lack of experience — including never having served as a judge and a historically short amount of time spent in the actual practice of law — as making her unsuitable for the Supreme Court.

Lindsey Graham could learn a thing or two about principle from Brown. Instead of playing to the Boston Globe and the fawning Democratic colleagues, Brown chose to put the Constitution first. We need judges who are not still wet behind the ears and will not be learning on the job — with the Constitution hanging in the balance. As Brown put it, an umpire can’t call balls and strikes correctly without spending lots of time on the playing field. A judge’s character and temperament can only be developed by time in the courtroom, and Elena Kagan’s are still very much a work in progress. Kudos to this freshman senator for being willing to stand on principle.

Carrie Severino — Carrie Severino is chief counsel and policy director to the Judicial Crisis Network.

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