Elena_Kagan_1.gif
Kagan, looking right.
Retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, in a 2007 decision, favored the Seattle School District's policy to use race as a

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Judging the Justice: Kagan's No Stevens

Elena_Kagan_1.gif
Kagan, looking right.
Retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, in a 2007 decision, favored the Seattle School District's policy to use race as a basis for assigning students to schools. What would his just-nominated replacement Elena Kagan do?

She'd likely oppose race-based assignments as the conservative court majority did, writes Marjorie Cohn on AlterNet.

Along with others, she thinks Obama's choice would move the court even more to the right:

Justice Stevens ruled in favor of broad enforcement of our civil rights laws. In his 2007 dissent in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District No. 1, he wrote that "children of all races benefit from integrated classrooms and playgrounds." When Kagan was dean of Harvard Law School, she hired 32 tenured and tenure-track academic faculty members. Only seven were women and only one was a minority. "What a twist of fate," wrote four minority law professors on Salon.com, "if the first black president - of both the Harvard Law Review and the United States of America - seemed to be untroubled by a 21st Century Harvard faculty that hired largely white men."

Others see Kagan simply as unqualified. Says the Washington Post's Michael Gerson: "Kagan's qualifications for the court can only be called thin. Her professional background is thin - having never been a judge, having never argued a case before the Supreme Court before her appointment as solicitor general, and having served in that position for just over a year. Her public record is thin - just a few memos, speeches and academic articles, some of which she has since publicly repudiated."

Still, a New York Times profile found her confident, canny and "a creature of Manhattan's liberal, intellectual Upper West Side." Stay tuned: The vetting and bloodletting has only begun.

 
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