Not OK On EK
Back in the day, Elena Kagan criticized how vapid Supreme Court confirmation hearings had become. Of course, when it came to getting grilled herself, she couldn't have been more vapid.
Except, according to The New York Times, when it comes to freedom of speech:
...she spoke freely about this year’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, in which the conservative bloc on the court ruled against her, striking down legal limits on corporate spending to influence elections.
Democrats have portrayed that ruling as “conservative judicial activism.” Ms. Kagan — who as solicitor general argued in defense of the campaign finance rules — said she convinced herself in preparing that “we had extremely strong arguments.”
These hearings are empty spectacle, where there's nothing but posturing. But I certainly hope someone grilled her on this--asked her if she honestly believed government had the power to tell The New York Times when and how to cover elections. (When she argued the case, the Court asked her about the overbreadth of the statute, and her reply seemed to be don't worry, the government would never go that far.)
I understand Citizens United is not a popular decision (not that most could describe what the case is actually about), but so what. The First Amendment is designed to protect unpopular speech, not generally approved speech, and certainly not government-approved speech.
There's no question Kagan will be confirmed--the Dems have the votes and then some. And if I were a Senator, it would take a lot for me to vote against a nominee, since I believe one should generally defer to the President. But still, I have my limits.
PS Listening to Kagan on the radio, it seemed to me she sounded a lot like Ellen DeGeneres. All I can say is last time they made Ellen DeGeneres a judge, it was a mistake.