Elena Kagan

Ceding the Court
July 05, 2010

Washington—Here's when you know something momentous has happened to our struggle over the Supreme Court's role: When Republicans largely give up talking about "judicial activism," when liberals speak of the importance of democracy and deference to elected officials, and when judges are no longer seen as baseball umpires. All these things transpired during Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, though you might not know that unless you saw some of the most thoughtful blogs or news stories.

&c
June 30, 2010

--Joe Klein on Glenn Greenwald’s comparison of the Kurds to the Sudetan Germans --A grim outlook for state budgets --Michael Kinsley is skeptical that the powerful logic of Orrin Hatch's argument persuaded Elena Kagan to reverse her beliefs about Court nominees answering questions. --Sharron Angle finally consents to an interview, does about as well as expected. --Al Franken "takes notes" during the Kagan hearings.

Kagan Shocker
June 29, 2010

I never saw this coming: At the opening of questioning in her Supreme Court confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Solicitor General Elena Kagan quickly backpedaled from her past call for nominees to speak more openly and in specific terms about their constitutional views. Under questioning by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick J. Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, Ms.

Why Brandeis Matters
June 29, 2010

Louis D. Brandeis: A Life By Melvin I. Urofsky (Pantheon, 955 pp., $40) I. In 1916, Herbert Croly, the founder and editor of The New Republic, wrote to Willard Straight, the owner of the magazine, about the Supreme Court nomination of Louis Brandeis. Croly enclosed a draft editorial called “The Motive of Class Consciousness,” and also a chart prepared by a lawyer in Brandeis’s office showing the overlapping financial interests, social and business connections, and directorships of fifty-two prominent Bostonians who had signed a petition opposing Brandeis’s nomination.

Supreme Court Fights, Beyond Social Issues
June 28, 2010

Judicial nominations have mainly served as proxy battles for cultural rifts. E.J.

The Liberal Hour
June 25, 2010

Washington—This week’s hearings over Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court will mark a sea change in the way liberals argue about the judiciary.  Democratic senators are planning to put the right of citizens to challenge corporate power at the center of their critique of activist conservative judging, offering a case that has not been fully aired since the days of the great Progressive Era Justice Louis Brandeis. It was Brandeis who warned against the “concentration of economic power” and observed that “so-called private corporations are sometimes able to dominate the state.” None of

What Makes Elena Kagan Tick?
June 04, 2010

People who complain about Max Baucus seem to forget that not so long ago the likes of James Inhofe chaired Senate committees. And if you worked in a Democratic administration, those folks made your job a tough slog. Back in the Clinton White House, I was a middling staffer on the Domestic Policy Council, working on issues ranging from the adoption tax credit to media violence and its effect on children. One of my bosses, as it happens, was Elena Kagan.

Vacuity and Farce
May 21, 2010

The Supreme Court is divided into two blocs, as hostile and immutable as NATO and the Warsaw Pact. In the middle of the two blocs sits Anthony Kennedy, a Yugoslavia-like figure who tilts toward one bloc but has demonstrated significant independence. When and how the delicate balance of power will be broken rests upon two questions: First, will one of the four liberals get sick and die during a Republican presidency before one of the four conservatives gets sick and dies during a Democratic presidency?

Confirmed Liberal
May 21, 2010

Soon after this magazine was founded, the editors joined with relish a fight over President Woodrow Wilson’s nomination of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Defending Brandeis against his Boston enemies—the financial oligarchs whom he had attacked in his book Other People’s Money—we championed his vision of liberal judicial restraint: namely, the view that courts should defer to progressive laws and regulations enacted by the states, Congress, and federal agencies.

Confirmed Liberal
May 20, 2010

Soon after this magazine was founded, the editors joined with relish a fight over President Woodrow Wilson’s nomination of Louis Brandeis to the Supreme Court. Defending Brandeis against his Boston enemies—the financial oligarchs whom he had attacked in his book Other People’s Money—we championed his vision of liberal judicial restraint: namely, the view that courts should defer to progressive laws and regulations enacted by the states, Congress, and federal agencies.

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