Daily Archives: May 10, 2010

Harvard Law Profs Make The Case For Kagan

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.

More here.

They Never Do Give Up Looking

Published May 10, 2010

Your host Andrew Phelps here. From time to time my WBUR colleagues will share their insights about stories on this blog. In the hubbub over Elena Kagan and everything else in the news, Steve Brown reminds us of the Carver soldier being laid to rest 66 years after his death. Steve has been following the story for almost two months now. Here is his notebook.

Cpl. Richard Loring with his niece, Jean Cole Lowe, in the early 1940s.

Cpl. Richard Loring with his niece, Jean Cole Lowe, in the early 1940s.

Members of the military say they don’t leave their comrades behind on the battlefield. I always wondered if that was just a romantic myth.

It’s a few moments before Cpl. Richard Loring’s funeral here at the United Protestant Parish of Carver. His story captures my imagination. Loring was serving in the Army Air Corps on May 10, 1944, when his B-25 Mitchell crashed in soupy weather on the island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean.

Continue reading

Yeah, About That

Published May 10, 2010

WCVB sports producer Scott Isaacs tweets:

President Obama just revealed Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is a die hard #Mets fan – that’s it – cancel the hearings!

Monday Roundup: Elena Kagan Edition

Published May 10, 2010

Elena Kagan

U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan in January. (Jose Luis Magana, AP)

Boston is talking about Elena Kagan, the U.S. solicitor general and former Harvard Law dean who could be our next Supreme Court justice. What’s your take on President Obama’s nominee? Give us something to argue about in the comments and we might share your views on the air.

In January 2009, the Globe reviewed Kagan’s five years as Dean:

She’s thawed Harvard Law
Some of her initial acts as dean were small-scale improvements, like offering free coffee in classroom buildings and free tampons in women’s bathrooms. On the lawn outside the student center, she added a beach volleyball court that doubled in winter as a skating rink. […] On a grander scale, the school revised its core curriculum, greatly expanded the number of legal clinics that offered students practical experience, and built a new $150 million academic center. And the list of faculty hired by Kagan is long, illustrious, and occasionally controversial.

Apparently Kagan lived in the basement of her constitutional law professor, Laurence Tribe, while a Harvard student. The Crimson profiled Kagan after her appointment in 2003:

She represented a fresh face, and at a school where rivalries run deep had no obvious enemies.

NPR’s Nina Totenberg says Kagan has a limited paper trail, which could pose problems for Republicans and liberals in Congress.

Elena Kagan came to the job of solicitor general with one huge, gaping void. She had never argued a case in the Supreme Court — or any other court for that matter.

@Trevor_of_Ohio, of Cambridge, tweets:

Elena Kagan picked by Obama today as the next SCJ. Really?! Why not me? Like Kagan, I’ve never been a judge; and I’ve “read” about the law.

Stay here throughout the day for updates on the appointment, including live video of President Obama’s announcement at 10 a.m. At 3 p.m., we’ll discuss the news and share your tweets and comments on the new Radio Boston.