Just who is Elena Kagan and will she be able to fill the progressive shoes of the great Justice Stevens? The question will no doubt continue among liberals even if she is confirmed.
Here's a wrap up of coverage so far:
One of the most vocal critics of Kagan is Glenn Greenwald who writes for Salon.com. One of his key issues is that "Obama [chose] an individual with very few stated beliefs who makes the Right quite comfortable (even as they go through the motions of opposing her). [and] Who has bravely insisted on the need for Constitutional limits on executive authority." Watch Greenwald's appearance on Maddow.
Following Greenwald's appearance was Harvard Law professor and former colleague of Kagan, Larry Lessig who argued in favor of Kagan's appointment. This morning Greenwald had some words for Lessig, which you can read here.
From Andersen Cooper's 360 blog:
Top cases Elen Kagan has argued as solicitor general
• Campaign finance reform (Citizens United v. FEC, 2009): Congressional efforts to restrict "independent spending" by corporations and unions in federal political campaigns. Supreme Court ruled against the government in January.
• Terror support (Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project, 2010): Whether the government's power to criminalize "material support" of a terrorist organization goes too far in restricting civil liberties. Supreme Court ruling pending.
• Religious monuments (Salazar v. Buono, 2009): Can a war memorial shaped like a cross remain on government parkland, or does it violate the constitutional separation of church and state? Justices ruled for the government, saying the cross should remain.
Yesterday Neal Conan from NPR's Talk of The Nation spoke to Supreme Court reporter David Savage (Los Angeles Times/Chicago Tribune), as well as Kagan's former boss, Judge Abner Mikva. Kagan clerked for Judge Mikva on the US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in 1986 - 87 as a young Harvard Law grad.
Conan also spoke to Edward Whelan (a former attorney at the Justice Department/contributor to the National Review) — another avowed critic of Kagan. And finally Conan talked to long time colleague and friend of Elena Kagan, Carol Steiker, a classmate from Harvard, who upon graduation clerked with Kagan for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. Steiker holds a professorship at Harvard Law. (audio clip below)
Also worth a read is Jeffery Toobin's op-ed in the New Yorker. Toobin is a personal friend of Kagan, a law scholar and contributor to CNN. After praising her intellect, even-disposition, and humor, Toobin writes: "...But on the Court, Kagan will have to do something she’s not done before. Show her hand. Develop a clear ideology. Make tough votes. I have little doubt she’s up to the job, but am less clear on how she’ll do it."
Listen to the NPR TOTN 15 min. segment below