media assault

WSJ Launching Assault on Elena Kagan Even Before American Family Assocation

Conservatives are supposedly readying the launch of their attack on Solicitor General Elena Kagan, the lesbian potential Supreme Court nominee, though the Wall Street Journal [enter paid link via Google] doesn’t name any of these organizations actually mobilizing. Huh.

Sure, there’s the American Family Association and Focus on the Family, who both tried upending her solicitor general confirmation by attacking her criticism of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and other “extreme rhetoric,” but in claiming “conservative activists are homing in on a high-profile stand she took on gay rights as a centerpiece of their opposition if she is nominated to the Supreme Court,” reporter Jess Bravin doesn’t name a single one.

As dean of Harvard, Ms. Kagan cultivated good relations with conservatives, hiring several professors with right-leaning views and reaching out to the Federalist Society, a training ground for lawyers who often go on to populate Republican administrations.

Such an unprovocative past has given pause to some liberal activists, who long to see a vibrant progressive voice join the Supreme Court. But some conservatives fear that once on the court, Ms. Kagan could emerge as heir to the liberal icon for whom she once clerked, Justice Thurgood Marshall, himself a former solicitor general.

To drive home that point, conservative activists point to Ms. Kagan’s role in a gay-rights lawsuit. In 2005, Ms. Kagan was one of 40 Harvard law professors who signed a friend- of-the-court brief urging the Supreme Court to uphold an appellate ruling that permitted law schools to limit military access to campus recruiting events.

Even AFA has been silent about Kagan’s possible Supreme Court nomination this month, its only public release directing parents to keep their kids home on April 16, the annual GLSEN-sponsored Day Of Silence.

Of course, we expect conservatives to go after Kagan, but if they haven’t begun the campaign, what, exactly, is the Journal reporting? In the the meantime, some advice: AFA and FOTF would better spend their time attacking Kagan’s lack of experience (she’s never held a judgeship) than her alleged support of same-sex marriage.

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  • Michael @

    For once, we should be on the side of the Repugs but not because of Elena Kagan 1.0 but because of Elena Kagan 2.0 who shouldn’t be rewarded for selling her soul to ObamaRahm last year when, as their new Solicitor General, she contradicted HER OWN SELF to DEFEND DADT in homophobic terms in court in order to lube her way to a Supreme Court nomination.


    Fighting against the appeal of his DADT discharge by Jim Pietrangelo, who was arrested at the WH with Dan Choi last month, Kagan drooled: “Applying the strong deference traditionally afforded to the Legislative and Executive Branches in the area of military affairs, the court of appeals PROPERLY UPHELD [Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell]. [The bar on gays serving openly is] RATIONALLY related to the government’s LEGITIMATE interest in military DISCIPLINE and COHESION.”


    When she still HAD a soul, as Dean of Harvard’s Law School in 2004, Kagan BARRED military recruiters from campus because of DADT, writing in 2005 that
    “[Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a] wrong [that] tears at the fabric of our own community.”

    When she still HAD a soul in 2006, after the Supreme Court rejected that suit, for which SHE was a co-plaintiff, against the Solomon Amendment which denied federal funding to any school barring recruiters, she told all of her students & faculty:

    “[Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is a] DISCRIMINATORY employment policy. I BELIEVE THAT POLICY IS PROFOUNDLY WRONG—both unwise and unjust—and I look forward to the day when all our students, regardless of sexual orientation, will be able to serve and defend this country in the armed services.”

    Elena 2.0 was willing to trade us for a chance for a seat on the Court. No self-respecting gay person should betray themselves and gay servicemembers by helping her succeed.

  • the crustybastard

    Michael, I’m sorry you don’t understand that attorneys advocate on their client’s behalf. Your beef is with the Obama Administration, not with Kagan.

    That she’s never been a judge doesn’t particularly trouble me. Some variety in professional experience isn’t inherently a negative.

    At this moment EVERY justice on SCOTUS was a former federal appellate judge. As far as I know, this is the first time that’s been the case.

  • Michael @

    @the crustybastard:

    I’m sorry that you don’t understand no attorney HAS to advocate for a client just because she is asked to, that no one was holding a gun to her head…only a chance to become a Supreme, that she could have directed a subordinate to write the brief, that you hold your anal retentive allegiance to procedure above moral right, that you don’t recall we hung people after the Nuremberg Trials whose defense was that they were just doing THEIR jobs working for the head of their state, too, administering acts which were entirely legal in Germany at the time. [Cue cretinous “Godwin’s Law.”]

    That any gay person would, we assume, condemn, say, a Fred Phelps [who, after all, is only following the “law” of his religio conscience] for attacking gays yet defend Kagan for doing the same thing in another context makes my skin crawl. No wonder we’re still second class citizens.

  • delurker again

    @the crustybastard: That’s true. The idea that Supreme Court justices must come from lower courts/appellate courts is a relatively modern one. Earl Warren, whose court greatly expanded civil rights, was a politician, not a judge before he became chief justice. Maybe a seasoned litigator, professor, politician or non-judge is in order this time around?

  • Baxter

    There was a time not so long ago when a president could choose pretty much anyone they wanted for the Supreme Court and have them confirmed with minimal fuss. That is until Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy came along and totally trashed Robert Bork. It’s been war ever since. So if you want to blame anyone for these attacks, blame the VP.

  • Wondering

    “Solicitor General Elena Kagan, the lesbian potential Supreme Court nominee”

    How do you know she is a lesbian?

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