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US: Elena Kagan (Gallup 5/10)

Topics: national , poll

Gallup
5/10/10; 1,004 adults, 4% margin of error
Mode: Live telephone interviews
(Gallup release)

National

Generally speaking, how would you rate Obama's choice of Elena Kagan as a nominess to the US Supreme Court?
13% Excellent
27% Good
22% Only Fair
14% Poor

 

Comments
Farleftandproud:

I would say she wasn't a great choice but a good choice. The bad news for progressives like myself is she has ruled sometimes favoring holding detainees indefinetely without evidence to try them. The argument from most people is they are too dangerous to allow back in society again and will likely attack us again. My argument, is the fact we lower ourselves as a nation on human rights and have detained these people so long, it is only making militant arab groups more radical and angry. That is why there are so many plots against our country.

All in all, she is a pretty good pick, but can't compare to Justice Stevens. He has been a true maverick in the courts.

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Farleftandproud:

I am sure Obama wanted to pick a more progressive judge but someone like that could hurt Dems in the midterms. I personally didn't think Bush 1 was as well liked after he picked Clarence Thomas to change the balance of power in the courts.

Reagan also looked like a real fool when he picked Judge Bourque. Bourque supported poll taxes, criminalized abortion, the death penalty for crimes other than murder or treason and you name it. Most of all it was his support of segregated schools and poll taxes which caused mayhem. I really had to wonder what Reagan was thinking.

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GARY WAGNER:

It would have been nice to have a nominee for the supreme court that actually had experience as a judge. Kagan has never served on the bench. Her only qualifications are that Obama knew her when they did nothing together at Harvard.

But, this seems to be the Obama doctrine. Take someone with the least experience possible and give them a job of extreme importance. I guess if she gets confirmed she can get a copy of, "Supreme Court Justice for dummies".

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Xenobion:

Considering a ridiculous number of supreme court justices in the last 70 years have been appointed with no judge experience I don't see what the problem is here. Effectively being a qualified teacher of law I could only say she is probably more than qualified TO judge since judging is a theoretical procedure of interpreting law.

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Moore:

Justice Rehnquist never served on the bench either. I would say he was a relatively respected and accomplished Supreme Court justice. Judicial experience isn't the only relevant experience needed to be a good judge.

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nick283:

have never posted on this site, but enjoy the comments... had to respond to this one. Farleft: how hard is it to look up how to spell someone's name before you spell it wrong multiple times in a post. the man's name is Bork. If you are going to call other people fools you might want to check stuff like that.

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bigfoot9p6:

Kagan is a fine pick, however, I did agree with one right wing bloggers assessment of the situation: she does bear a rather striking resemblance to Kevin James.

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Bigmike:

Farleftandproud:

"I am sure Obama wanted to pick a more progressive judge but someone like that could hurt Dems in the midterms. "

I wholeheartedly agree. In less than two years I think the country has had enough of "progressives", which is just another name for liberals. The GOP doesn't have to do a thing to make themselves look good. The Dems are taking care of that for them.

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I have no doubt that Elena Kagan will end up being the intellectual voice of progressive ideas on SCOTUS. Nitpicking a comment here, or a comment there is, to me, ridiculous. She is a powerful intellect and will end up being a superb Supreme Court Justice during her expected 30+ years on the bench. Congratulations to our President for selecting someone with such extraordinary pure "brain power."

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sjt22:

Her only qualifications are that Obama knew her when they did nothing together at Harvard.

Yup, graduating from Harvard law on law review sure is "nothing". Bunch of slackers.

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lat:

Hey Field Marshall. For the record I had no issue with Harriet Miers and thought it was ridiculous that she did not get a fair hearing. To all of you commenting that Kagan has never been a judge I say good! What did Felix Frankfurter, Earl Warren, and William Renquist have in common? They were not judges either.

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Stillow:

I don't have an issue with her. Its to be expected Obama would pick liberal for the court. he won that right by beating Mccain.

The constitution gives the pres this obligation and Obama is doing what he is supposed to do. the senate should grill her, expose her liberalism, but i nthe end they should vote to approve barring some kind of wacky smoking gun which I doubt exists.

So at least "this" racist, sexist, homophobic, anti civil rights, bigoted, pro white power, anti female, pro polution, anti immigration, anti enviroment, minority hating heartless conservative bastard supports her nomination. I hate it, but elections have consequences.

Though there woudl be a certain appeal to me if they filibuster her for absolutely no other reason than as payback for what dems did to estrada.

But, I support her nomination.

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StatyPolly:

Hey Stillow,

What, you have a problem with puppy torturing? Maybe a touch o' dolphin in your tuna sandwich?

Don't knock it til you try it.

Funny description though. I gotta plagiarize it sometime..

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Chris V.:

Farleftandproud:

"I would say she wasn't a great choice but a good choice. The bad news for progressives like myself is she has ruled sometimes favoring holding detainees indefinetely without evidence to try them. The argument from most people is they are too dangerous to allow back in society again and will likely attack us again. My argument, is the fact we lower ourselves as a nation on human rights and have detained these people so long, it is only making militant arab groups more radical and angry. That is why there are so many plots against our country."

I can't bring myself to agree that holding people who try to slaughter innocent civilians in our country is an egregious civil rights violation. Call me reactionary.

And I think detaining terrorists for long stretches of time is pretty far down on the list of reasons "why there are so many plots against our country." I think they are more angry with our foreign policy in general.

"GARY WAGNER:

It would have been nice to have a nominee for the supreme court that actually had experience as a judge. Kagan has never served on the bench. Her only qualifications are that Obama knew her when they did nothing together at Harvard.

But, this seems to be the Obama doctrine. Take someone with the least experience possible and give them a job of extreme importance. I guess if she gets confirmed she can get a copy of, "Supreme Court Justice for dummies"."

Talking points rubbish as usual. I doubt you opposed Miers or Rehnquist when they were nominated, and they didn't have judicial experience either.

Your analysis of the topic is about as superficial as it gets. Plenty of people on both sides are guilty...everything our side does is right, everything the other side does is wrong. It gets old.

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lat:

Stillow,

I want you to test your libertarian views with the new AZ law. In my view any libertarian should be horrified by it. What say you?

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Chris V.:

If I may interject, a correction: a libertarian would be horrified by it if he believed that it would actually result in blatant racial profiling.


To borrow a phrase from Bill Maher, I'm preaching the gospel of I don't know on the immigration bill. If it actually results in racial profiling, then yes, it needs to be struck down, no question. I'm just not going to play the reactionary game of assuming that it's going to do that. The sane thing to do...just wait and see what it actually does before getting all worked up about it either way.

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GARY WAGNER:

@Chris V:

"I doubt you opposed Miers".

She was a worse pick than Kagan - but only barely. I opposed her from the day Bush nominated her. I don't expect you to believe that, though.

We don't need another socialist elitist stepping off the ivory throne at Harvard to shove the Obama agenda through the courts when he loses both houses of congress. It would be nice if we could get a judge who has actually lived in the real world for a while - not an academic snob.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"It would be nice if we could get a judge who has actually lived in the real world for a while - not an academic snob."

I'm sorry, but I tend to respect academic credentials, particularly from the best institutions in the country. The top practicing judges in the country probably are products of the top law schools, so your point is pure hackery.

If you think education is useless than don't get it.

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GARY WAGNER:

Obama talked about a judge with empathy. How can the queen of Harvard have any empathy for people who don't live in the hallowed halls of harvard? She might be book smart and highly educated but doesn't know much about real people in this country. She seems to have a love afair with socialism to boot. That is typical elitist attitude.

I don't expect any more from a man who has never had a real job in his life.

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sjt22:

We don't need another socialist elitist stepping off the ivory throne at Harvard to shove the Obama agenda through the courts when he loses both houses of congress.

Not really sure how one of nine SCOTUS judges is supposed to ram through anything. If it was that easy why even bother with congressional elections at all?

It would be nice if we could get a judge who has actually lived in the real world for a while - not an academic snob

Damn her for working hard and excelling in the field of law. That's not the kind of person we need at the top of the field of law. We need more people like Roberts and Scalia who... went to Harvard Law School. But I'm sure you objected to their ivy league qualifications too.

Obama talked about a judge with empathy. How can the queen of Harvard have any empathy for people who don't live in the hallowed halls of harvard?

And yet he picked her. So either she does have empathy in his view, or she doesn't, which should actually be a good thing in the mind of conservatives who suddenly hate the idea of a judge with empathy.

She might be book smart and highly educated but doesn't know much about real people in this country.

And you know this how? She grew up in a normal background, put herself through school, and worked as a lawyer, teacher, administrator and most recently as the Solicitor general. Not average credentials but certainly a good resume for a SCOTUS judge. Given that most of the other SCOTUS justices went to fancy pants law schools (you know, because they are smart and worked hard) I don't see how she is out of place.

She seems to have a love afair with socialism to boot. That is typical elitist attitude.

Proof? What, she wrote a historical paper examining the socialist movement in historical context? Scholarly inquiry is now some black mark?

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Stillow:

aaron - There is soemthign to be said about that. Life long academiacs get disconnected from reality. I think that is why so many in academia are liberal....because as a thoery liberalism is great, but in the real world it just leads to financial collapse.

Does knowledge equal intelligence? Doeseducation equal wisdom? Who is smarter, the Harvard professor who has spent his entire life i nthe classroom writing papers and doing research studies....or the guy who built and maintains a successful business in his community providing people with jobs?

Education is important, I would not be where I am today without it. But I see a clear seperation between real life and academia.....as well as real life and the politcal world. How many times do we see a multi millionaire stand up and tell us he knows what we are going thru, he understands our needs and concerns, when the truth is he has no idea what a carton of eggs costs you. Or how much school clothes are.

There is a very fine line between knowledge and wisdom. Between book smart and street smart.

Is my dad who only has a high school education and worked in the oil feilds for 40 years less intelligent than a man his same age who has a college degree? Do we only define intelligence by educational standing?

Very interesting debate to be had there.

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Thaddeus:

Kierkegaard also asked who was more religious, the banker who goes to church every week, and then goes to work and screws people, or the person who walks the parks and admires the beauty of god's work. Debating whose "Smarter" doesn't yield much, As I don't know if I'd want the local successful Subway owner sitting on the SCOTUS, or even a successful investment banker...

If she's passed, every SCOTUS member will be from Harvard or Yale, so beating her for being from the hallowed halls of Harvard seems like saying all of them should go.

The question seems to be more about, does teaching people to be lawyers and the next judges give you the same abilities/knowledge to be judge as a couple years of experience like Alito and Roberts. Or does being a judge for a while just make people happier, as you have already have had to state your prejudices (otherwise known as judicial philosophy).

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Aaron_in_TX:

"Who is smarter, the Harvard professor who has spent his entire life i nthe classroom writing papers and doing research studies....or the guy who built and maintains a successful business in his community providing people with jobs?"

When it comes to interpreting law, I'd prefer the person who's studied and written on the law and can demonstrate familiarity with it.

I want the successful businessperson to run another business, preferably bigger than the last, so more jobs.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"every SCOTUS member will be from Harvard or Yale, "

Ginsberg went to Columbia. Rest of them Harvard/Yale, and I think it's mostly Harvard. Stevens went to Northwestern.

I find the educational elitism a little annoying. It's just going to give all those Harvard/Yale people even bigger heads.

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Farleftandproud:

Something Kagan came clean about was her reaction to the 1980 election when a high profile Democratic candidate lost a close election to Alphonse D'Amato and she got really drunk and I think she had to go to the hospital.

I guess I could understand that one. I can remember some elections where I got stinking drunk. After 2004, I was a mess. Seeing Daschle Lose as well as Edwards and others was devastating. I thought that the public was so stupid that Republicans would be in the white house forever.

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Farleftandproud:

I did get the spelling of Bork wrong. I spelled his name Bourque like the hockey player. Reagan's nominee was certainly not a hockey player....lol

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Stillow:

aaron - But is someone who spends there life in academia qualified to make judgements on how law affects soceity? I'm not sure I am even idsagreeing with you on this, but i do have some issue with life long academics who have spent no time in the real world telling mw what is best for me. Same with politicans. Is life as simple as a rule book?

Its the same problem I have with life long politicans....they have no clue what people like me and you have to go thru. they have no idea what it means to have a car payment or soccer shoes to buy. These people are rich and powerful and that creates a disconnect with those they would lead.

I am not sure I even have a point here....so not sure I am expressing properly what is in my tiwsted head on this one.

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Thaddeus:

"Its the same problem I have with life long politicans....they have no clue what people like me and you have to go thru. they have no idea what it means to have a car payment or soccer shoes to buy. These people are rich and powerful and that creates a disconnect with those they would lead. "

Sounds like you want a judge with empathy. I've heard that somewhere before....rather than just being a umpire calling balls and strikes according to the rule book...

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Stillow:

The constittuion is not as simple as a rule book. Its interprated in different ways....even the umpire analogy you gave does not wrok because different umpires have different strike zones. Batters and pitches will tell you they make adjustments depending on the umpire in the game.......like a pass interference call in football (damn you to hell Phil Luckett) is totally up to interpratation.

I want a judge who is not disconnected from the real world.

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Aaron_in_TX:

"spent no time in the real world telling"

LOL, well an academic might ask, "What is the real world?" I think they exist in it too ;)

"they have no idea what it means to have a car payment or soccer shoes to buy"

I can speak for some academics who do make car payments and soccer shoes for the kids (or at least baseball gloves). Most professors don't make that much...it's the fancy Harvard ones that do.

I know what you mean, but I think if someone is primarily worried about "making rent" they don't have time to study and reflect on the law. They're probably working / dealing with the kids, etc...

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Farleftandproud:

Well in a very twisted and perverse way last year's confirmation hearings for Sotomayor;I loved it when she was asked on her stand on guns and she wised off to sessions and said, "I may need a gun for protection from you" in a joking way. She kept getting questioned by Coburn and Kyle, however Sessions was probably the best entertainment of the Summer. Sessions should quit the senate and be an actor; he would be great in one of those civil war movies or a remake of Gone with the Wind, or playing Uncle Tom's slavemaster, or perhaps the town sheriff. He would have been perfect for the federal judge in Georgia who prosecuted the Corleones in Godfather part 2.

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Stillow:

aaron - You are smart enough to get my point. Don't play dumb.

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