University of Colorado at Boulder law professor Scott Moss predicts that President Barack Obama’s newest pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, will be confirmed by the Senate. Moreover, conservatives will have a tough time portraying her as a radical liberal, he says, according to the Denver Business Journal. Obama calls her “one of the nation’s foremost legal minds,” according to a White House transcript.
But Paul Campos, a liberal CU law prof, says Obama’s nomination of Kagan, a former Harvard Law School dean who has never been a judge, “is an abuse of the trust granted to him by the nearly 70 million voters who put him in office 18 months ago” (via the Daily Beast). “A central theme of Obama’s campaign was that his administration would be committed to openness in government, and to a fundamentally democratic public process for deciding major public-policy questions,” Campos writes. “This nomination makes a mockery of that pledge.”
More criticism comes from Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald (via The Colorado Independent), who writes that despite Kagan’s thin record, her previous support of expanded presidential wartime authority is troubling in its defense of detaining enemy combatants, especially since she would be replacing Justice John Paul Stevens, who has typically opposed greater executive power.