Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee began confirmation hearings for President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court of the United States. Elena Kagan is the former Solicitor General for President Obama as well as the former Dean of Harvard Law School, and is the president’s second nominee to the high court. While Ms. Kagan is politically experienced and clearly well-connected, she has never once served as a judge and has had very little substantive legal experience.
Watching the hearings yesterday and today, one thing has become very clear. Ms. Kagan’s lack of experience as a judge not only calls into question her qualifications to serve on the Supreme Court, but also leaves a large question mark hanging over her stance on some very controversial issues facing the court today, including gun rights, abortion rights, and the whether activist judges should be allowed to legislate from the bench. There is much to learn about Ms. Kagan, and hopefully the Senate Judiciary Committee – including Oklahoma’s own Senator Tom Coburn – will be able to get viable and substantive answers from Ms. Kagan during this process. I will continue to monitor these hearings as they progress.