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May 7th, 2010 5:45 pm
Elena Kagan Wants to Talk Judicial Philosophy

According to a book review she wrote back in 1995, Supreme Court short-lister Elena Kagan wants to judicial nominee hearings to get back to the good ole’ days of Robert Bork.  As reported by ABC News:

Kagan argues that the Bork hearing should be a “model” for all others, because even though it ended in the candidate’s rejection, the hearings presented an opportunity for the Senate and the nominee to engage on controversial issues and educate the public.

“The real ‘confirmation mess’ ” she wrote, “is the gap that has opened between the Bork hearings and all others.”

“Not since Bork,” she said, “has any nominee candidly discussed, or felt a need to discuss, his or her views and philosophy.”

“The debate focused not on trivialities,” she wrote, but on essentials: “the understanding of the Constitution that the nominee would carry with him to the Court.”

At bottom, Kagan called for an open, “educative” process that put differing constitutional philosophies under the microscope.  I’m all for it; so too are most conservatives.  It will be interesting to see if and when Kagan is nominated by President Barack Obama to fill the next vacancy if she still thinks that way when it’s her turn to defend her views.

After all, Bork was the last nominee to make it to the hearing room and not be confirmed.

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