Elena Kagan & Me
Posted June 30, 2010on:
Elena Kagan & Me
Supreme Court nominee Kagan assumed Senator Lindsey Graham was posing a serious question when he said to her at Tuesday’s hearing, “The Christmas Day bomber. Where you at on Christmas day?”
“Senator Graham,” she began, “That is an undecided legal issue. I suppose I should ask exactly what you mean by that. I assume the question you mean is whether a person who is apprehended in the United States …”
“No, I just asked where you were at on Christmas,” Graham said.
Kagan roared with laughter, collected herself and said, “You know, like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant.”
It was a great response to an absolutely silly question.
Graham called it a great answer and then Senator Patrick Leahy said, “You
could almost see that one coming.… Senator Schumer explained this to me earlier. …”
And to clarify for the audience, Leahy said, “No other restaurants are open.”
Graham then said, “You were with your family on Christmas day at A Chinese restaurant?”
After Kagan said yes, Graham added, “That’s great. That’s what Hanukah and Christmas are all about.”
The meaning of these holidays is going to a Chinese restaurant? Why exactly was he asking that question about where she was on Christmas?
But even Graham called her work as U.S. solicitor general in arguing anti-terrorism cases “excellent,” something he wanted all “conservative scholars and commentators” to know about her.
I could mention other exchanges, including the one where she is accused of being a future activist judge because she had worked for Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African American Supreme Court justice who fought for Brown v. Board of Education.
That 1954 case overturned the previous Supreme Court ruling set as a standard “separate but equal” in schools.
I don’t know about you, but I think all kids should have excellent education, regardless of their skin color.
Kagan’s response to Arizona Senator Jon Kyl? “I loved Justice Marshall. He did an enormous amount for me. But if you confirm me to this position, you will get Justice Kagan. You won’t get Justice Marshall, and that’s an important thing.”
Incidentally, Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower appointed Chief Justice Earl Warren, a Republican, to the court that later decided Brown v Board of Education.
Activism on the court, like beauty, is in the eyes of the beholders.