Sunday, May 16, 2010

Will Kagan be "Borked"?

As I drive to Washington this morning, I came across a story on NPR that I think you also ought to know about.

The story examined how recent Supreme Court nominees have become vanilla -- offering little in the way of a paper trail and little in the way of openness with the Senate Judiciary Committee.

It struck me with the "is she a lesbian?" nonsense floating around that as citizens we need to demand far more from the media, as they cover this nomination process, and from the nominees, as they seek the life-long appointment to the Court.

But there is a larger issue at work here: Do the recent successes of vanilla judicial nominees John Roberts and Sonia Sotomayor (and presumably we will add Elena Kagan to that list later this year) provide a kind-of chilling effect to men and women who aspire to the Supreme Court? Will they seek to be judges-lite (an attempt to offer little in the way of groundbreaking reviews) so as to likely advance their prospects for Supreme Court status?

One other thing -- pay attention to the political angle highlighted in the aforementioned NPR report.

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