Thursday, May 27, 2010

Elena Kagan and the Confirmation Process

I wrote this letter in response to an editorial in the Round Rock Leader last Saturday. The letter appears in today's paper, but they changed my spelling of Kagan to 'Kagen' throughout. Here is my original submission.

Your May 22 editorial not only mis-characterizes opposition to the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, but the confirmation process as well. The Senate should consider whether or not the nominee has a thorough working knowledge and understanding of the U.S. Constitution, and how said nominee views the validity of our governing document.

You attribute concern over Ms. Kagan's view on the D.C. gun laws as merely playing politics, however, the issue at stake is the 2nd Amendment, which has been interpreted since 1791 as the constitutional right of individuals to own firearms. Senators responsible for Ms. Kagan's confirmation should know whether Kagan joins many leftist thinkers in opposing this portion of the Constitution, and if that opposition extends to other constitutional provisions.

Politics always has, and likely always will, play into judicial appointments. In 1995 Ms. Kagan herself wrote an article in support of the infamous Robert Bork hearings and asserted that the Senate should 'demand' answers about “broad judicial philosophy” and “view(s) on particular constitutional issues.”

The Constitution allows the President to nominate anyone he or she chooses, but rightly checks presidential power by subjecting these nominees to confirmation by the Senate. All of the players are politicians and will make decisions accordingly; to pretend otherwise is simply naïve.

While there are certainly those few who are concerned about Ms. Kagan's orientation, serious political thinkers have shrugged and turned to constitutional matters. The rumors about her preferences actually serve very nicely as a red herring and allow supporters to attribute any opposition to mere homophobia.

I do agree that elections matter. Elena Kagan will be confirmed, and if Americans don't like it, their best course of action is to elect candidates who will uphold and defend the Constitution, not only to the White House, but to every office in the land.

Holly Hansen
Legislative Committee Chair,
Williamson County Republican Women

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