Oh Obama, we had such high hopes for you!
On April 20, Christina Bellantoni of Talking Points Memo wrote:
In comments that are at odds with the conventional wisdom about what Obama needs to do to make sure the Senate confirms his nominee to replace John Paul Stevens, a White House official involved in the confirmation process tells TPMDC that the President isn’t taking a cautious approach to selecting a nominee. Despite having one less Democrat in the Senate than when Sonia Sotomayor was confirmed last year, the administration isn’t limiting itself to reviewing only centrist candidates for the court vacancy, the official said.
“It doesn’t matter who he chooses, there is going to be a big ‘ol fight over it. So he doesn’t have to get sidetracked by those sorts of concerns,” the official told me. The GOP has attempted to obstruct “anything of consequence” put forth by the Obama administration since he took office, the official said. “The president is making this decision with a pretty clear view that whoever he chooses is going to provoke a strong reaction on the right,” the official added.
So, what happened? The President still chose the candidate who most progressives hoped he would NOT pick.
Granted, we don’t know much about what Elena Kagan thinks, as she’s never served as a judge before.
President Barack Obama said he wanted to honor the legacy of Associate Justice John Paul Stevens with his nominee. If so, he has chosen to honor it in the breach with a nominee who is likely to dismantle a significant part of Stevens’ legacy. As with Justice Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama has decided to nominate someone who is demonstrably more conservative than the person she is replacing –moving the Court to the right.
For many liberals and civil libertarians, the Kagan nomination is a terrible act of betrayal after the President campaigned so heavily on the issue of the Supreme Court during his campaign. He is now replacing a liberal icon with someone who has testified that she does not believe in core protections for accused individuals in the war on terror. During her confirmation hearing Kagan testified that she believed that anyone suspected of helping finance Al Qaeda should be stripped of protections and held under indefinite detention without a trial — agreeing with the Bush Administration.
And Glenn Greewald at Salon.com has been laying out his case against Elena Kagan ever since her name surfaced as a strong contender for the nomination.
Tonight, I spoke about today’s nomination of Elena Kagan as the next Associate Justice of the US Supreme Court with Talking Points Memo‘s Brian Beutler, who uncovered the GOP strategy to fight the nomination, with Jack Rice of the Talk Radio News Service, and with Crooks & Liars‘ Nicole Belle, who joined me for our weekly recap of the Sunday talking head shows.