Obama nominated his second Justice to the court. I’m pretty sure that even he can’t screw this one up. The Democrats still control 59 seats in the Senate so this is as close to a slam dunk as possible.
Ilya Shapiro at Cato echoed my thoughts on the issue:
Although all Democratic nominees would be expected to have similar views on hot-button “culture war” issues like abortion, gay rights and gun control…
…there is no indication that the solicitor general is anything but a standard modern liberal, with all the unfortunate views that entails on the scope of federal power.
There is no way that Obama was going to nominate someone who would’ve made Conservatives happy. And, in many ways, is one of the valid consequences to elections. The real question was not if the pick would be bad, rather, how bad would the pick be?
I get the feeling that Elena Kagan is not the worst selection for Conservatives. She is not one of the hyper Leftists that are out there. In fact, some on the Left are concerned over her policies that seem similar to Cheney and Dubya regarding Executive powers, especially during times of war.
It seems strange that she be nominated when she doesn’t have any experience as a judge, but that isn’t unprecedented; even recently. In fact, to be a Supreme Court Justice you don’t even have to be a lawyer.
No, I think the pick is about as good as we could have hoped for. She’ll be a junior member, almost certainly less influential than Stevens and potentially less Liberal.
Shapiro correctly points out that Obama has created a national interest in the mundane that is remarkable:
In an election year when a highly unpopular and patently unconstitutional health care “reform” was rammed through Congress using every procedural gimmick imaginable, voters are more sensitive to constitutional discourse now than they have been in decades.
From bailing out the financial and auto industries to fining every man, woman and child who doesn’t buy a government-approved health insurance policy — and, coming soon, regulating carbon emissions — the Obama administration is taking over civil society at a rate that alarms Americans and fuels both Tea Party populism and interest in libertarian policy solutions…
While I would rather the President make better decisions at the cost of dousing interest in libertarian policies, this is a distinct advantage; Obama continues to be put in positions that play into the hands of right thinking libertarians. While I don’t think this debate will rage like health care and bailouts, it will be interesting none the less.