Specter's Compelling Argument For Voting No On Kagan For SG
Previously I criticized Joe Sestak for his eagerness to rubberstamp Elena Kagan's nomination to the SCOTUS. Sestak criticized Arlen Specter's no vote on Kagan for Solicitor General. Booman provides Specter's very compelling defense of his No vote:
I don't know very much more about [Kagan] now than I did when we started the process. From the many questions that I asked her on cases, I have picked out a few to illustrate the problem I am having with figuring out where she stands and the problem I am having with her confirmation. [. . . W]e do not know very much about her views [. . .] I had calls from people in high positions--I do not want to identify them--saying: Well, don't ask those kinds of questions. Somebody in the executive branch. Well, I am not prepared to relinquish the institutional prerogatives of the Senate to ask questions. The executive branch nominees want confirmation. Well, Senators want information to base their opinions on.
[. . .] In essence, it is difficult to cast a negative vote on someone with the qualifications and background of Dean Kagan, but we have a major problem of institutional standing to find out from a nominee what the nominee thinks on important questions. [. . .] I think we have to pay a little more attention, and I have gone to some length to try to find out more about Dean Kagan. In the absence of being able to do so and to have a judgment on her qualifications, I am constrained to vote no.
(Emphasis supplied.) In my view, this is precisely the attitude that the Senate should take towards all judicial nominees. On this issue, Joe Sestak could not be more wrong and Arlen Specter could not be more correct.
Speaking for me only
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