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Kagan Backpedals On ‘Openness’ Pledge

A change of tune so blatant that even New York Times has to take notice:


Kagan Says Openness at Hearings Is Inappropriate

By CHARLIE SAVAGE and SHERYL GAY STOLBERG

June 29, 2010

WASHINGTON — 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 about their constitutional views.

Under questioning by the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont, Ms. Kagan said she thought it would be inappropriate for her to talk about how she might rule only on pending cases or “cases that might come before the court in the future” — as well as to answer questions that were “veiled” efforts to get at such issues of current or future controversy.

Moreover, she said, she also now believed that “it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to talk about past cases” by essentially grading Supreme Court precedents, because those issues, too, might someday come again before the court.

So if Ms. Kagan won’t talk about possible future cases, or her past cases, and she has no legal writings to speak of – what is there to talk about? Why even have hearings?

In a 1995 book review, Ms. Kagan wrote that recent Supreme Court confirmation hearings had taken on “an air of vacuity and farce” because nominees declined to engage in a meaningful discussion of legal issues, declining to answer any question that might “have some bearing on a case that might some day come before the Court.” She called on senators and future nominees to engage in a much more open and detailed discussion of legal issues

Indeed, back in 1997 Ms. Kagan praised the ‘Star Chamber’ treatment the Senate gave Robert Bork as a model for nomination inquisitions:

To quote Ms. Kagan: "The Bork hearings were great, the Bork hearings were educational. The Bork hearings were the best thing that ever happened to Constitutional Democracy."

But that was then and this is now.

The hearing also placed an early emphasis on Ms. Kagan’s judicial philosophy about constitutional change. Mr. Leahy asked her to expound on how the Constitution has been amended, and she plunged into a kind of Civics 101 discourse on the framers, drawing a contrast between clear-cut provisions like the one that requires senators to be 30 years old, and others, like the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure.

“Those provisions,” she said, “are meant to be interpreted over time.”

And here we were thinking that the first ten amendments were quickly added to the Constitution precisely because the framers realized that they had better spell out these rights so that they would never be infringed.

The ranking Republican on the committee, Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama, pushed that line of thinking, pressing her about what he characterized as a “progressive” legal view that would allow judges to “update the Constitution to make it say whatever they would like it to say.”

“You’re not empowered to alter that document and change its meaning — you’re empowered to apply its meaning faithfully in new circumstances, wouldn’t you agree?” Mr. Sessions said.

Ms. Kagan replied: “I do agree, Senator Sessions. That is the point I was trying to make, however inartfully.”

These liberal Democrats are all about being “artful.” They should try to be truthful, once in a while.

But of course that is exactly their problem. They can’t really tell the American public what they think or what they want to do.

We lowly peons, we custard shop managers aren’t progressive enough to appreciate their lofty goals for us.

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, June 29th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

20 Responses to “Kagan Backpedals On ‘Openness’ Pledge”

  1. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Looks to me like she’s wearing the uniform of a proud lesbian. Short (but practical) hairstyle. Clothes that are not “cumbersome” or “busy” (which often means, “manly” and “ugly”). Also quite sure she wears “comfortable/practical” shoes.

    If the nation learned nothing from the boy’s non-verbal cues…please PLEASE take note of this one’s.

    Her agenda is written all over her attire and her attitude.

    You can learn a lot just by watching.

    • proreason says:

      For the moment, this country is being run by 4 groups:

      1. Foaming mad homosexuals
      2. Environmentalists who want to drive the world back to the stone age
      3. The heirs of Lenin
      4. Black racists

      They are all furious with white achievers who they envision hold them in such contempt….but the angriest of all are the homosexuals. Certainly there are many homosexuals who accept who they are and who manage to live relatively happy lives. But there are many like Rosie O’Donnel and Barney Franks whose lives are dominated by disgust at their own inability to avoid self-destruction, and with no prospect of heirs, they are dedicated to destroying the lives of everyone around them.

      Kagan doesn’t come across like an angry woman…..but think about the Moron. He is a master at disguising his own fury at the world. She may be as well.

      Handing the keys of the country to these people is insanity.

    • Petronius says:

      Rusty : “… quite sure she wears ‘comfortable/practical’ shoes.”

      Actually Elena prefers Waffen SS jack boots for full dress, and hobnail boots for casual / leisure.

      Hence her nickname, “Little Boots” (Caligula in Latin).

    • bill says:

      Rusty, you got it down pat.

      She doesn’t even try and hide it.

      This anti-Constitution shill has no right getting in the same room with the Constitution alone.

  2. wardmama4 says:

    So like a liberal – when it is a conservative being grilled and nailed to the wall – it’s ok but when it’s your opinions, your beliefs about to be nailed – well not so fast.

    I would love to have one, just one Republican or even a rabid fanatical leftist go after some real depth and detail – and let her ‘artfully’ get out of it – and then I’d like to see the Republicans and rabid fanatical leftists join together and shoot her down.

    This poser to the Presidency – is about to go down and go down hard and fast – it is about time for everyone who wants to even be considered once the dust clears – to stand up and say HELL NO.

    And I agree Rusty – it is about time for Dems to realize that one of the reasons they are so angry is because their women are ugly – if not on the outside then inside. Nasty people who hate themselves and project it upon everyone else -get therapy, but damn well get out of positions of power – You’re destroying America because YOU HATE.

    God Help America – Just Say NO (on Kagan)

  3. Chinnubie says:

    Speaking of being “Artful” I have been interviewing for a job the State of Missouri calls a “Youth Specialist” and after going through 8 interviews I am still being turned down. The description of the job asks for people with a Criminal Justice degree, of which, I am one. Apparently I am not answering the questions the way they want me to, or I am not answering them “Artfully” enough. Since I am a common sense type of person I have to believe the latter. After 2-1/2 years of straight University exposure I was sure I could do it but, I am really starting to doubt myself. I truly despise what these liberal wack-jobs have done to common sense and created political correctness!!

    • Right of the People says:

      Chinnubie,

      Smack yourself on the forehead a dozen times with a ball peen hammer and you will achieve a liberalesque state of mind. Then you’ll be able to pass your interview with flying colors.

      If she so loves what they did to Bork then she shouldn’t mind if we do it to her. Because of the libwits Bork has become a verb and I say Bork the bitch.

    • proreason says:

      There is no basis for being refused a government job because of politics.

      You should call your local state rep (state, not federal) and ask for assistance. You should easily be able to reach one of one of his staff members.

      Be calm, polite, straightforward and firm. Your case is simple.

      1. You meet the stated requirements, which you email to the staffer.
      2. Your gpa was x.xx. In the required field of study.
      3. You are a citizen of Missouri.
      4. You have x letters of recommendation.
      5. The state has x outstanding requisitions for these positions.
      6. You have no criminal record.
      7. You have been interviewed 8 times. Is that customary treatment for citizens of Missouri seeking a state job for which they meet all of the qualifications?

      I would bet money that you will get the job within a few days of calling your state rep.

      If you don’t live in Missouri, you won’t get the job so look elsewhere.

    • Chinnubie says:

      I called a previously interviewed Youth Center and I was told that during the interview while the questions are being asked that they score you on your answers. They tell me that they ask the same questions of all applicants. What I’m wondering, if they are going to “score” you on the questions why not just give the questions to the applicant and they can write down the answers, because, I’m told that is all your being scored on. How do I know for sure the answer I give they are writing down, on top of that I never see my score after I’ve given my answers so how do I know what the correct answer should be because, these questions are all subjective. This is what has me doubting myself because, I know that 90% of the interview questions I’m asked I’m getting correct but, somehow I’m not measuring up. The State makes everybody take a preliminary test to even get the chance at an interview and I got an 87.5% on that test so I can’t be that far off on my answers to the interviewers.

    • JohnMG says:

      Well, we can thank Mel Carnahan, Jean Carnahan, Robin Carnahan, Russ Carnahan, and I’m sure there’s another Carnahan just waiting in the wings to assume their ‘rightful’ place in Missouri politics, and to use it as a springboard to federal office. Not to mention William Clay, Lacy Clay (any other Clays out there, legitimate or not?), Claire McCaskill, and countless others of that stripe.

      Sumpin’ tell me you be da rong culuh fo’ dat yoof job, white bread!

      Sometimes I feel I’m the only conservative left in Missouri

  4. mr_bill says:

    This whole proceeding reminds me of the [first] OJ Simpson trial. You have a mountain of evidence being “examined” by a room full of people who are bending over backwards to ignore the obvious truth that is in front of them.

  5. U NO HOO says:

    “Certainly there are many homosexuals who accept who they are and who manage to live relatively happy lives.”

    I know such a man. He dresses like a man and his only difference from me is that he likes to have sex with men.

    He was in a Catholic seminary but left because he didn’t think there should be a queer on the altar.

    Is the opposite of Borking Bork, Kaganing Kagan?

  6. BobonStatenIsland says:

    If Kagan won’t answer questions about possible up-coming cases, won’t answer questions about past cases that may come back again, won’t answer questions about past cases that have no chance of ever coming back again, then why is she there to begin with?

    Is it just to show us that she is as moderate as she is sexy?

  7. Tater Salad says:

    We have Communists within our Congress and the White House:

    http://www.Commieblaster.com

    • proreason says:

      Lots of interesting links in that website….hundreds of them.

      The simple fact that somebody can organize HUNDREDS of links discussing Obamy’s communist roots is interesting all by itself.

      But check this one out. It’s an eye opener. http://www.the-peoples-forum.com/cgi-bin/readart.cgi?ArtNum=10570

      The guy who wrote it says he was a software develope who was in Russia in 1992 and was told at that time that Barack Obama was being groomed to be president.

      5 years ago, I would have said that guy is crazy. Now, it seems perfectly believable.

  8. Reality Bytes says:

    Wow! Hey, is it OK then to interpret my contract with the union over time? How about my mortgage? Life time contract at Fred Kelly’s Dance Studio? No?

  9. Petronius says:

    The testimony of Elena “Little Boots” Kagan –– a study in vacuity and farce. Or, questions that were not asked and never answered.

    Senator Petronius : Good afternoon, Mizzzzzzz Kagan. Let me ask you this: As a high ranking official at the Department of Justice, how do you feel about the decision by Justice to dismiss charges against the New Black Panthers for voter intimidation, for threatening white people with weapons at polling places in Philadelphia and elsewhere to prevent them from voting?

    Kagan : I really couldn’t comment about a pending case.

    Sen. Petronius : Of course. But it is not pending anymore. The charges have been dismissed. That is the reason for my question.

    Kagan : Well, really, I, uh, it really wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment about past cases.

    Sen. Petronius. Oh? But the case was dropped. The criminal complaint is withdrawn. So there is no past case.

    Kagan : Well, with all due respect, Senator, I’m not sure I would agree with that, I’m not sure I’d agree that there is no past case –– or maybe on second thought I would agree –– it depends on what the meaning of is is –– but then I could not comment on whether it is a past case, assuming that I were asked to agree or disagree. But even so, uh, that’s pretty thin gruel, and, uh, I really couldn’t comment about a case that might, uh, come before the court in the future.

    Sen. Petronius : If it is dismissed, how could it be brought again in the future?

    Kagan : Well, obviously, I really couldn’t say. But I do pledge to listen hard.

    Sen. Petronius : Why not?

    Kagan : Why not what?

    Sen. Petronius : Why couldn’t you say?

    Kagan : Say what?

    Sen. Petronius : Who’s on first?

    Kagan : That question –– who’s on first? –– sounds like a dumb set of circumstances, Senator, but, uh, the question of whether it’s dumb is separate from the question of whether it’s constitutional. And assuming those dumb circumstances existed, and looking at it constitutionally, uh, it goes to a current situation, and, of course, it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to comment about a current situation or, uh, a set of facts or circumstances that may result in litigation that may come before the court at some point in the indefinite future that might present a similar question. But I do pledge to listen hard.

    Sen. Petronius : It’s a hypothetical.

    Kagan : What’s a hypothetical?

    Sen. Petronius : My question. My question is a hypothetical.

    Kagan : Which question?

    Sen. Petronius : Who’s on second?

    Kagan : No, I thought who’s on first? But, either way, I really couldn’t say, whether who’s on first or whether who’s on second, because –– as I’ve already explained –– the matter might be pending before the court in the future. Or in the past.

    Sen. Petronius : I see . . . . Let’s put on the blinders for a moment and set aside this judicial nomination by the president. Let’s pretend it never happened. And let’s also set aside your possible future judicial role for a moment. You are currently the United States Solicitor General at the Justice Department, right? So please answer from your current position as Solicitor General.

    Kagan : Answer what?

    Sen. Petronius : Please answer my question.

    Kagan : Which question?

    Sen. Petronius : Who’s on third?

    Kagan : I believe who’s on first. Although I believe that you also said –– or at least implied –– that who’s on second. But I really couldn’t say who’s on third, first, because it depends on what the meaning of is is, and, uh, second, it would be inappropriate for me to comment about a pending matter. Or a past matter. Or a future matter. Or a potential future matter.

    Sen. Petronius: (moans audibly) Ok, ok, I get it. But I am seeking a discussion of viewpoints, rather than repetition of platitudes. So let’s return to your role as Solicitor General. How –– as Solicitor General –– how do you feel about the decision at Justice to dismiss charges against the New Black Panthers?

    Kagan : The code of legal ethics prevents me from disclosing matters subject to the attorney-client privilege.

    Sen. Petronius : Then you were consulted on this matter?

    Kagan : I really cannot answer because ethics prevent me from disclosing matters that are subject to the attorney-client privilege.

    Sen. Petronius : Who is your client? Isn’t the United States government your client? And isn’t the United States Senate also a part of the United States government?

    Kagan : With all due respect, I guess I should ask you what you mean by that. Uh, but I really couldn’t say. And really, Senator, I see no point in this vapid and hollow charade. But I do pledge to listen hard.

    Sen. Petronius : (shaking head slowly, as if in pain) I see. I’ll take your answer to mean that you participated in the decision to dismiss the charges against these thugs. How do you feel about equal justice under the law?

    Kagan : Why, I . . . uh . . . why, I . . . uh . . . uh . . . (long thoughtful pause) . . . Uh, I (fingers crossed), uh . . . (very tentatively) I believe in it. Absolutely.

    Sen. Petronius : Then you would disagree with Justice Sotomayor on that point? You don’t share her qualms about equal justice for white men?

    Kagan : Well, uh, uh, I, uh, uh, really could not comment about Sonia.

    Sen. Petronius : Do you believe in the rule of law?

    Kagan : Uh, well, I, uh, I’m not sure where this is going, such a really dumb scenario, so many silly questions, but . . . uh . . . my answer would be, uh, under the Constitution, as written by the Founders, who were a pretty smart bunch of old white goyim, uh, even though they were also slaveholders and painted themselves blue, uh, yep, I’d believe in the rule of law. I guess (fingers crossed again). Absolutely.

    Sen. Petronius. I’ll take your answer to be a Yes. Ok?

    Kagan : I really couldn’t say.

    Sen. Petronius : (moans and rolls eyes upward) If the rule of law is broken, then it’s broken for everybody, right? I mean, it’s broken in all directions. Broken is broken. And sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander, right? So if the tables were turned, and my party were in power, and, say, I were president of the United States and my Attorney General supported white thugs, say, the KKK, who used guns and violence to seize control of polling stations across the country, and prevented decent African-American citizens from voting, what would you, as a justice of the Supreme Court, have to say about that? What would your legal opinion be?

    Kagan : Well, of course I do pledge to listen hard, but that’s a rather dumb hypothetical that will never, ever happen.

    Sen. Petronius : Why not?

    Kagan : Because once I’m on the Supreme Court your party will never come to power. You’re finished. It’s the boot on the throat for you, buster. You’re history. Toast. Dead meat (sound of Kagan stamping her boot).

    Sen. Leahy : Sen. Petronius, your allotted time is expired. Justice Kagan, thank you for your forthright and lucid testimony. We recognize your brilliant work at Harvard University. We appreciate your 18 months outstanding service at the Department of Justice. And those six oral arguments. Wow. Just … wow. Clearly no one can doubt that you are eminently qualified to serve on this country’s highest court. In fact, speaking for the entire nation, I’m sure we’d all agree that you are probably vastly overqualified. This committee is now adjourned.


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