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I served in the US Navy from 2002-08; four of those years were as a Nuclear Propulsion Operator aboard an aircraft carrier. I engage in political activism in various Democratic circles when I am able to. I have a cat, and I am an uncle.

All opinions that I express are my own and do not reflect the views of any organization that I represent.

Monday, July 5, 2010

THE KAGAN CONFIRMATION HEARING





Solicitor General
Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing took place during the last week. This was pretty much a formality. Ms. Kagan was going to be confirmed barring some huge bombshell during the hearing. This was not going to be that ugly of a Supreme Court confirmation hearing because with Kagan on the court it will still be 5-4, Conservative.

The only ugliness came from special interest groups, like the NRA and Pro-life advocacy groups, urging the Senate to not to confirm Kagan to the high court because of her political positions. I would expect the partisanship to show up if one of the two conservative members of the court retire in the next couple of years (Antonin Scalia- Age 74, Anthony Kennedy- Age 73)
I think Kagan will be a good addition to the court. I am aware that most of her law experience has been in the classroom, but last time I checked, the only criteria to serve on the Supreme Court is that the justice is nominated by the president, confirmed by the Senate, and, “The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.” 

Unlike the Legislative and Executive branches, there are no age requirements and no citizenship requirements to serve on our nation’s highest court. In theory, I could serve on the court.
President Obama, I submit my name as your next Supreme Court nominee.
If I had to offer a prediction on how many votes Kagan will receive on her confirmation vote, I would say 65.
Anyways, here are some moments to remember from these hearings.

DOES IT MATTER WHERE SHE SPENDS CHRISTMAS?
Even though this was a joke, it makes me think: Who cares? Yes, it was in reference to the Christmas Day bombing attempt but I think The Southern Dandy Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) was trying to bring her religion into question.
Once again: Who cares?
When I heard that story, I just rolled my eyes.
Let’s review the list of things I care about:
NUMBER ONE

Big surprise… right?
Then numbers two through ten are interchangeable almost hourly: school, relationships with the people in my life, Mewsette, women (I am a man), politics, football, money, sustaining quality of life in my apartment, and my car.
OK, let’s scroll down the list of things I care about…
#245 Your Farm
#246 Your MafiaWars
#247 Your Ark
(Actually ANY game you play on facebook and you ask me to join you. Sorry.)
Further…
#460 Your bills
#461 What you watch on TV
Ah here we go…
#573 The race, gender, religion, sexuality, etc. of a nominee to sit on the Supreme Court
Oh at the bottom of that list? The thoughts of amoebas.

DEFENDING THURGOOD MARSHALL
That was a question on Day One of the confirmation hearing. And somehow, Justice Thurgood Marshall was added to the list of “activist judges.” So arguing for Brown in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954) is being an activist? Or how about siding with Roe in 1973? I guess Conservatives are still hurt over United States v. Nixon (1974). Or maybe it was him siding in the unanimous decision of the landmark case of Hustler Magazine v. Falwell (1988) is still smarting because it damaged the legacy of Jerry Falwell. Oh, he’s an activist because he sided with the majority in the controversial 5-4 decision that protected flag burning as a form of free expression.
Maybe they forgot that Marshall sided with the dissent in Miller v. California (1973).
I am getting sick and tired of the term “activist judges” and the phrase the Supreme Court does not dictate policy. Once again, the Supreme Court does make policy. What about this list of Supreme Court cases? How many cases dictated policy?
The phrase “judicial activism” is just a sound bite that has no meaning or backbone. Where did it come from? I’d like to know what think tank thought that phrase up. And besides, do we not want our judicial branch to have an ACTIVE role in our government instead of just being there for show? Speaking of being active, can you name all the Supreme Court justices? I will spot you the fact that there are nine on the court.

EDWARD v. JACOB (2011)
Yes… that is true. When Congressional historians 200 years from now review the impact of the Kagan hearings, they will find Senator Amy Klobuchar (Twihard D-MN) asking Kagan to comment about the current debate taking place about which is better: vampires or werewolves.
Uh… can I say neither? Vampires drink blood and finding a werewolf sexy is just… well, wrong.
Congratulations, Twilight has made the Congressional record, just like a certain expletive did during the hearings for Goldman Sachs.
Once again… You know it. I know it. I am just not going to say it here. If you want to, go ahead and read this.

CONCLUSION
As I stated before, this was just a formality. The confirmation by the Senate will probably make the national network news for a few brief minutes. The makeup of the court won’t change. I basically could go on and on and on and on about this. I could since this is titled Michael’s Rant. But I think I have made my point about how ridiculous this confirmation hearing was.
I am waiting for when one of the more conservative members of the court retires during the Obama presidency. THAT will be a more entertaining confirmation hearing.
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