Kagan, the SCOTUS, and You!
Apologies for being a bit slow to react on some political stuff that’s happened lately. Moving is hard, moving is hard. There are many boxes; where the hell is my hammer? (With additional apologies to Li Po for butchering his lovely “The Hard Road” for my own sordid purposes.)
So Elena Kagan has been sworn in as the 112th justice of the Supreme Court. I have mixed feelings about this. Much as I’m glad to see another woman — and a New Yorker! — on the court, I’m concerned that Kagan (despite weeks of Republican freakouts over her “extreme liberalism”) is contributing to the court’s drift to the right. The justice she’s replacing, John Paul Stevens, was a solid liberal; Kagan herself appears to be a centrist. While in a vacuum I’d generally consider a centrist to be a good thing, in the context of this court, I can’t see Kagan as much of a counterweight against the hard rightward drag of Scalia and Thomas. Now, I’m not Scalzi and I won’t even pretend to be a centrist myself… but regardless of my personal politics, I think we all need that counterweight right now, given some of the more blatantly partisan decisions the court’s made lately.
So I’m going to try and focus on the positives… and hope that Kagan, like Stevens, turns out to be the surprise liberal the court really needs right now.
Thoughts on Kagan? Remember, Kate’s just itching for her chance to swing the Mallet, so keep it civil please.