The Corner

The Specter of Votes Past

Nobody is happier about Elena Kagan’s nomination than Joe Sestak, running in the Pennsylvania Democratic Senate primary against Arlen Specter. That’s because while he was still a Republican, Specter voted against Kagan for Solicitor General, even though conservatives like Tom Coburn (R., Okla.) voted to confirm her.

How does Specter plan to navigate this inconvenient truth in the upcoming confirmation battle? If this statement is any indication, poorly.

“There is no doubt that Elena Kagan has exemplary academic and professional credentials. And she has been a pioneer for women, serving as the country’s first female Solicitor General and as the first woman to be Dean of Harvard Law School. I applaud the President for nominating someone who has a varied and diverse background outside the circuit court of appeals.

“I voted against her for Solicitor General because she wouldn’t answer basic questions about her standards for handling that job. It is a distinctly different position than that of a Supreme Court Justice.

“I have an open mind about her nomination and hope she will address important questions related to her position on matters such as executive power, warrantless wiretapping, a woman’s right to choose, voting rights and congressional power.”

Huh, and here I’d always though that SG and Associate Justice were indistinctly different positions.


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