Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Linda Greenhouse at the New York Times Opinionator on Elena Kagan

In Just Answer the Question, Linda Greenhouse at the New York Times Opinionator gives her take on Elena Kagan.

David Brooks at the New York Times on Elena Kagan

What It Takes is David Brooks at the New York Times with an op-ed on Elena Kagan.

5 Things to Know Before You Trademark : Managing :: American Express OPEN Forum

5 Things to Know Before You Trademark

Glenn Harlan Reynolds writes that Kagan is a Wise and a Safe Nomination for the U.S. Supreme Court

Glenn Harlan Reynolds in Wise pick for a weak prez writes at the New York Post:
"[T]he Kagan pick is a safe, low-risk move for a president who can't afford to run too many more risks at the moment.

That he went ... with a safe pick is as much evidence of Obama's current weakness as of Kagan's undeniable strengths."

A Texas Senator Shows How Not to Assess a Supreme Court Nomination : Partisan Politics at its Worst : Cornyn Broadcasts His Double Standard to the World

Greetings to all of our many friends in the great State of Texas, but you must have better people than Senator Cornyn to elect to Congress. We say this for non-partisan reasons.

As political centrists, one thing that really can raise our hackles is the double standard that some overly partisan politicians -- and voters -- apply to the world, and Texas Senator John Cornyn currently tops our list of people whose forked tongue pronouncements should be eyed with caution.

People who live and act by double standards -- one standard for them but a different standard for others --  are people who unnecessarily poison the political atmosphere and who should have no business in running the nation's affairs.

Senator Cornyn, whose judgment of people must be viewed with a jaundiced eye -- at least ever since the Charlie Crist affair, has indicated that he might not support Elena Kagan because of her "judicial inexperience". Fair enough. That would normally be a perfectly supportable reason.

However, it is not an acceptable reason if -- as is the case -- Senator Cornyn took exactly the opposite position on the qualifcation of "judicial experience" when supporting a Supreme Court nomination from his own political party. In fact, as written by Tom Benning at the Dallas Morning News in Cornyn hints he's unlikely to back Kagan's nomination:
"[W]hen President George W. Bush  selected his former aide, Harriet Miers, for a court seat in 2005 ... Miers had also never been a judge, but Cornyn wrote a column in The Dallas Morning News that extolled Miers' credentials – including her lack of judicial experience.

"Although she has no prior judicial experience, this was true for nearly 40 percent of the men and women who have served as Supreme Court justices," he wrote of Miers, whose nomination was ultimately withdrawn amid stiff political opposition. "Indeed, rather than make her nomination less desirable, many of us believe that her long career in private practice will be to her credit.""
That is a deplorable double standard, especially for a man who is broadcasting it to the world.

It is of course up to the people of Texas if they elect two-faced people as their representatives to Congress, but the rest of us -- who would very much question Cornyn's qualifications -- have to tolerate his being in the United States Senate in spite of his academic record of being a graduate of Trinity University and St. Mary's School of Law. We know Trinity only from Division III football and St. Mary's School of Law is ranked as a 4th-tier law school. Perhaps the academic reality there is better than that, but such an improved assessment awaits proof. Cornyn is not it.

We could understand Cornyn opposing Elena Kagan because of her political views, e.g. on military matters, but for someone like Cornyn to oppose her because HE questions HER qualifications, is a joke. If he did his job half as well as she has done her job all her life, he would have the reputation for being the greatest Senator ever. The reality, in fact, is far from that.

We personally agree, by the way, that a very talented Kagan might, however, be better in a more people-oriented position because her skills are concentrated in the human relations area, but when people such as Cornyn appear on the scene with this kind of a deplorable double standard, our instincts are to say, "Go Kagan!"

Blackbird Pie "bakes" tweets into HTML for websites, blogs, etc. Try it out. Here is a sample:

Blackbird Pie "bakes" tweets into HTML code for websites and blogs, etc.
Try it out. Here is a sample (I may have to change that background at Twitter):

Who Actually Invented GPS, the Global Positioning System? See Inside GNSS May-June 2010 http://ow.ly/1JeZCless than a minute ago via HootSuite

Another Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison Summer Associate to the Supreme Court? Obama Nominates Elena Kagan as U.S. Supreme Court Justice

Update, September, 2012: I read recently in the history of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, of which I am a summer associate and associate alumnus, that also Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a summer associate at the firm. As written at the firm's Paul|Weiss history page online:
"Each of the three women serving on the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 began her career as a summer associate at Paul, Weiss."
When I selected Paul, Weiss as my associate affiliation after graduation from law school believing it then to be the best firm in the country, I meant it. The original text of this blog posting follows after this update below.

Just as the newest Justice Sonia Sotomayor, new Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan served as a summer associate at the New York law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, of which I am an alumnus (as a summer associate and as an associate). Paul, Weiss summer associates are almost always among the best of the best of the crop of law students in law schools every year.

In spite of some reservations about Kagan as a Supreme Court Justice -- where I think that she might be better qualified by her special skills for a more people-oriented position -- having been hired by Paul, Weiss is always a special accolade, so we -- for now -- defer any future criticism.

If Kagan is confirmed for the position -- and there is little reason to believe that she will not (a U.S. Senator, without grievous cause, can not in fair conscience vote against a former Harvard Law School Dean and current Solicitor General of the USA) -- it will be interesting to see how she performs as a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

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