It appears that the nominee who has gotten the most attention in the past couple of weeks, Elena Kagan, will be nominated by Obama to Replace Stevens on the Supreme Court. Kagan is somewhat of a surprising pick simply because she is the first nominee in about 40 years who has never served as a judge. In fact, her entire legal career has been pretty light-weight. She served as the Dean of the Harvard law school and she is currently the Solicitor General, but she really has no litigation experience and almost no publication history. In fact, I’ve have about as many law review articles published as she has. This means there is very little paper trail and so we have no idea where she falls for many issues, although I think we can safely say she is going to fall to the left on most.
Some on both the right and left are already comparing this pick to that of Harriet Meirs under the Bush Administration. Like Meirs, Kagan is a long-time friend of Obama’s and she also has very little legal experience outside of academics and politics. The far left is worried that since she has no paper trail that she may not be liberal enough.
The question that is yet to be answered is how tough Republicans are going to be on this pick and should they filibuster it. Over at Ace’s Jack M has an interesting analysis. His basic theory is imagine if a hypothetical President DeMint hired an old crony from South Carolina law school who has very little legal experience, was involved in a controversial decision (like banning military recruiters from the school) and who’s biggest qualification seems to be that he’s “safe” and a long-time friend of President DeMint. Would the left standby and vote for him or would they filibuster him? Of course they wouldn’t, this is just crony capitalism Supreme Court style.
What’s the over/under on how many votes she gets? I’m guessing it’s about 75. The GOP is pretty spineless when it comes to this kind of stuff, so I don’t expect much opposition. I’m sure Graham and Hatch are already fitting her robes for Kagen.