Published May 10, 2010
As the media tries to pin down Elena Kagan’s politics, notable Harvard Law professors are blogging support for their former colleague — without a consensus on a one-word descriptor.
“I do not doubt that her heart beats on the left,” writes Charles Fried, but Kagan is no liberal lion. The New Republic writer says any description of her ideology deserves nuance, as exemplified in a February 2005 speech before the conservative Federalist Society:
She was greeted by a long and raucous ovation. With a broad grin and her unmistakable Upper West Side twang, the former Clinton White House official responded: “You are not my people.” This brought the dark-suited crowd of Federalist students to their feet in a roar of affectionate approval.
Lawrence Lessig, for Huffington Post, asks and answers:
Is she a liberal, or in the language of the times, a progressive? Would she be a triangulator, or a justice fighting hard for what she believes? The Kagan I know is a progressive.
Charles Ogletree, in Newsweek, opines:
She has good judgment, surrounds herself with great people, and is willing to make persuasive arguments to her colleagues to find middle ground.