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Judiciary Committtee Approves Elena Kagan for Supreme Court

No surprise here, but the Senate Judiciary Committee has approved the nomination of Elena Kagan for Supreme Court Justice.

Newsweek reports that Lindsay Graham's support for Kagan kills any chance of a filibuster.

President Obama lauded the vote calling it a "bipartisan affirmation."

Today's vote by the Senate Judiciary Committee is a bipartisan affirmation of her strong performance during her confirmation hearings.

I think some would disagree with that characterization. I just wish he'd stop harping on the need for bi-partisanship and remember that Republicans didn't elect him, Democrats did, and it's not only okay to be partisan, it's what we expected when we voted for him -- change and all that.

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Elena Kagan's Opening Remarks

Driving back from the jail, I was listening to CNN which was broadcasting Elena Kagan's opening remarks live. Without accompanying video to distract me, I was able to focus just on the content of her statement and her tone.

First, she is a really good speaker. She exuded a sense of calm. Second, there was a lot of emphasis on constitutional rights and equality of justice and on the need to be fair.

Third, she was deferential, promising to listen to Congress, the American people as they speak through the electoral process and their Representatives, and her fellow justices.

She doesn't seem to me to have an agenda. [More...]

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The Spectacle That is Jeff Sessions: Kagan Confirmation Hearings

The ocnfirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan have begun.

Dan Abrams tweets:

What a weird spectacle. Kagan has to sit there expressionless as Sessions insults her again and again.

Glenn Greenwald tweets:

I hope progressive legal groups will refrain from heaping praise on Kagan unless/until they learn a little about her judicial philosophy.

[More...]

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Elena Kagan Confirmations Hearing Begin Tomorrow

Confirmation hearings begin Monday for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

Republican Senator Jeff Sessions is still talking about a filibuster. I think he's talking to himself.

Kagan will be quizzed by 12 Democrats and 7 Republicans. The AP has a guide here.

In other Supreme Court news, condolences to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose husband, lawyer and professor Martin Ginsburg, passed away today at 78, from complications related to metastatic cancer.

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Will Elena Kagan Move Court to the Right?

Law prof Jonathan Turley fears Elena Kagan will move the Supreme Court to the right, especially on civil liberties and support for Bush-era policies:

For liberals, the problem is her “pragmatic” approach to civil liberties and support for Bush policies. Stevens was the fifth vote in opposing such policies and Kagan could well flip that result. Few could have imagined that voting for Obama would have resulted in moving the Court to the right, but that appears to be case with the selection of Kagan.

He also makes a point I made last night: Obama has never been the liberal that liberals thought he was. [More...]

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Obama to Nominate Elena Kagan for Supreme Court

President Obama will name U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan today to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice John Stevens.

A New Yorker who grew up in Manhattan, Ms. Kagan earned degrees from Princeton, Oxford and Harvard Law School, worked briefly in private practice, clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall, served as a Senate staff member and worked as a White House lawyer and domestic policy aide under President Bill Clinton.

Considering the most likely alternative was Judge Merrick Garland, formerly a top DOJ prosecutor, I'm glad. I think we dodged another Alito and Roberts bullet. Her only past job that gives me pause: She was a special counsel to Joe Biden when he served on the Senate Judiciary Committee in the early 90's. [More...]

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Senate Confirms Elena Kagan as Solicitor General

Elena Kagan, of Massachusetts has been confirmed by a vote of 61 to 31 as Solicitor General.

Kagan became the first woman dean of Harvard Law School in 2003. Prior to that, she was President Bill Clinton's Associate White House Counsel. Clinton nominated her for a Court of Appeals judgeship but Sen. Orrin Hatch killed it.

She's known for being a legal scholar, not a trial lawyer.

Before this appointment she had limited courtroom experience (she has never argued a case at trial) and has not argued before the Supreme Court of the United States.

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