Jewish World Review June 25, 2010 / 13 Tamuz 5770
The UnBorkable Elena Kagan
By Jonah Goldberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Say it ain't so, Elena.
This is not the time to rehearse all the reasons why Kagan is wrong on that score. Still, there is one adverse result of the Bork hearings worth dwelling on. Bork was the last
Consider Monday's thunderclap from the judicial
The more newsworthy opinion came from rookie Justice
But when Sotomayor was before the
"Yes, sir," she replied.
Both Sotomayor and Leahy festooned their colloquies with plenty of lawyerly escape hatches. That's why Leahy asked the questions the way he did, and that's why Sotomayor answered them the way she did. It's also why he spun her answers into more than they were: "I do not see how any fair observer could regard (Sotomayor's) testimony as hostile to the Second Amendment personal right to bear arms, a right she has embraced and recognizes." He made it sound as though she was open to an expansive reading of the Second Amendment when everyone knew she wasn't. (As a judge, she was hardly a hero of the NRA.)
Here's the point: Sotomayor wasn't an exception to the rule; she was following it.
Although the Bork inquisition was a largely partisan affair, the consequences have yielded a bipartisan sham. Republican and Democratic nominees alike are trained to say as little as possible and to stay a razor's width on the side of truthfulness. The point is not to give the best, most thoughtful or most honest answer, but to give the answer that makes it the most difficult for senators to vote against you. It's as if we expect nominees to demonstrate, one last time, everything we hate and distrust about lawyers before they don their priestly robes.
Nobody is shocked that Sotomayor has revealed herself to be the liberal everyone knew her to be. But the fact that everyone was in on the lie is just further evidence of the sham
And that's why Kagan should be the hero of this tale. She has vociferously argued that the "Bork hearings were great ... the best thing that ever happened to constitutional democracy." She has lamented how, ever since, the hearings process has become nothing more that "a repetition of platitudes." Kagan once implored senators to dig deep into the nominee's "constitutional views and commitments."
Alas, it doesn't look like Kagan will be following the Kagan standard. On Tuesday morning she distanced herself as best she could from those views. And when asked by Sen.
After his rejection by the
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