Elena Kagan deserves a hearing in front of the Judiciary committee. Kagan is deserving of a vote on the Senate floor. Sure there will be some that disagree with her liberal viewpoints. There is no doubt that some of her views are controversial. Almost assuredly she is pro gay rights. Again it is true she defended the Harvard reasoning for not allowing military recruiters onto the campus. However, the fact remains that the Senate’s role is to “advise and consent”, and not to defeat and derail.
While the Democrats played partisan politics with our national judges the Republicans should not follow suit. Unless there is a compelling reason to fight her nomination then the Republicans should vote their conscience and let the majority of the Senate rule. Take the high road and give her the up or down vote she is entitled to. Give her the hearing that is required by the Constitution. Use the hearing for the intended purpose. Dig into her background and make her answer the tough questions. But in the end give her what she is entitled and that is an up or down floor vote on her nomination.
I was not a fan of the Democrats using the filibuster to defeat President Bush’s judicial nominees and I am not a fan of using the filibuster to defeat Obama’s nominees either. Republicans need to take this opportunity to show that they are capable of Statesmanship and governing. The Republicans need to be tough and ask the questions but unless something is uncovered that would invalidate Kagan as a nominee she should proceed to the Supreme Court bench. Now is not the time to be ideological. Of course Kagan is not an ideal candidate from the Republican perspective but the President holds the right of nominating candidates. The Senate’s role is to advise and consent. We all know the Democrats are incapable of governing or leading. It is the Democrats that are incapable of open honest debate. It is the Democrats that use the filibuster to derail and defeat nominees.
Now should the Republicans find something that she has done the would disqualify her then use the filibuster. Right now there is nothing I have seen or heard that would disqualify her. There are only rumors that she may be a lesbian. So what, who cares, this does not disqualify her. We know she did not allow military recruiters on to the Harvard campus but again this does not disqualify her. There needs to be something tangible that she has done that would make people believe she is incapable of being a Supreme Court Judge. Listen this is not the battle Republicans want to fight. Kagan is replacing a liberal icon on the bench. Her position on the bench will not be any worse than Stevens vote on critical matters. The Court will still be split with many 5-4 decisions being ruled. Kagan will fall into the dissent column in most 5-4 decisions just as Stevens has for the past few years.
Give Kagan her day in front of the Judiciary committee. Ask her the tough question and get a feeling for where she stands on the issues. In the end, vote to proceed and give her a chance on the floor of the Senate. Take the high road and fight another battle tomorrow. I am not a fan of judicial activism, but in the Constitution the President has been provided the powers to select his representation on the bench.