Friday, August 6, 2010

Law Dean: Kagan Better Prepared for High Court Than Some Current Members Were

Saying that no one can predict how a Supreme Court Justice will evolve, Ken Gormley, Dean of the Duquesne University School of Law, says he expects Elena Kagan to vote with the liberal wing of the high court but would be surprised if she were extreme in any way.
Gormley, who has known Kagan since she was Dean of the Harvard University School of Law, says Kagan is the "intellectual equal of anyone currently on the Supreme Court" and has "all the legal skills one would want in a Supreme Court Justice."
The Senate voted 63-37 to confirm U.S. Solicitor General to succeed retired Justice John Paul Stevens. Five Republicans joined all but one Democrat plus the two independents in supporting Kagan. Republicans argued that Kagan was a political liberal who would be unable to be impartial. Some also questioned the fact that she has no judicial experience. But Gormley says nearly 40% of all justices in the nation's history did not come from the judiciary.....
"Frankly (Kagan) having served as Solicitor General of the U.S. where you're working through the most difficult cases at the highest level of government has probably better experience for this job than having a year or two as an appellate judge."
Gormley notes that Chief Justice John Roberts had only a year or so on the federal appellate court level before being nominated for the Supreme Court.

Gormley added that this nomination did not result in a big confirmation showdown. He says that will happen if a conservative justice retires while President Obama is still in office and that would change the 5-4 ideological split and then "there will be a battle to the end."

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