On June 28, U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan will face a tough audience during her confirmation hearings. Kagan, who currently serves as U.S. Solicitor General, has been highly critical of the U.S. Supreme Court nomination process, but now she finds herself in the hot seat. With that in mind, here are five questions that Kagan could and should answer during her Supreme Court nomination hearings:
No one questions your knowledge of the law, Ms. Kagan, but your experience has been mostly academic and in front of the bench, not on it. Are you honestly ready to make decisions that will have ramifications for years to come?
As Greg Stohr points out in a recent BusinessWeek article, Elena Kagan has never been a judge before, and now she could become a Supreme Court Justice. Kagan will have to make some pretty good arguments during the confirmation hearings to get past that particular hurdle.
Ms. Kagan, in the past, you have been critical of the U.S. Supreme Court nomination process, especially in regards to open honesty. Are you willing to answer all our questions openly and honestly, even though it could mean you will never take your place on the Supreme Court?
Kagan has argued that the confirmation hearings are more about what the nominee doesn’t say. In other words, if you keep your mouth shut, you have a pretty good shot at becoming a Supreme Court Justice. It will be interesting to see if Kagan still stands by those words when a Supreme Court seat is at stake.
Are you qualified, Ms. Kagan, to make the kind of tough decisions needed to stem the current crisis of confidence in the United States?
The question of Kagan’s practical experience will reoccur often during the confirmation hearings, and Kagan needs to go for broke if she wants to take her place on the Supreme Court on the first Monday in October. She’ll be fielding some tough questions about health care reform and unemployment benefits, questions that Kagan must be prepared to answer as honestly as she can.
A Supreme Court Justice must be prepared to make decisions based on Constitutional Law, Ms. Kagan. Yet, there are some who believe you embrace some of the Constitution-bending methods that have been used in dealing with suspected terrorists. How do you answer these accusations?
After September 11, 2001, the United States Constitution has been pushed to the breaking point at times in regards to terrorism. As FoxNews.com points out, both the Bush and Obama Administrations have favored stronger Executive powers to combat terrorist threats, and Elena Kagan is widely viewed as supporting these polices.
“Once again, your youth and inexperience cast a shadow on your nomination for the Supreme Court. Ms. Kagan, do you honestly think you are ready to sit with the other members of the Supreme Court? What exactly can you bring to the bench?”
It’s a safe bet that the nominating committee will keep bringing up Kagan’s lack of practical experience. If Kagan shows the same candor and honesty she demonstrated in the past, that could make for some very interesting proceedings.
BusinessWeek.com, “Kagan Hearing Gives Nominee Chance to Make Good on Candor View,”Greg Stohr
FoxNews.com, “BRAINROOM: Background on Elena Kagan”