Congress, Supreme Court

Thurgood Marshall put on trial at Kagan hearings

Seventeen years after his death, former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall finds himself on trial in Washington. The occasion is the confirmation hearing of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. It turns out that Kagan once had the temerity to clerk for Justice Marshall and then compounded her error by admiring the man. Apparently working for, and then admiring, a former Supreme Court Justice is now a basis for being denied elevation to the court. I hope the current law clerks of Justices Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito take note of how this could affect their future career paths.

Watching Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) grill Kagan about her Marshall connections would be laughable if this weren’t our Senate at work. One of Sen. Kyl’s concerns is that Marshall advocated for the disadvantaged in our society. God forbid that should happen.

These hearings continue the Republican Party’s tone deafness on race. I can’t remember another nominee’s hearing where their connection to a former Supreme Court Justice was so attacked. It can’t be a coincidence that the Justice in question was also the first black member of the court. It’s as if the Republicans are still miffed that as an attorney, Marshall won the Brown vs. The Board of Education case, thus ending segregation of public schools.

Both parties are hypocrites during Supreme Court hearings. We saw it with the Democrats during the Roberts and Alito hearings and we are seeing it now from the Republicans. Why can’t the Senate accept that Republican Presidents nominate right leaning judges and Democratic Presidents nominate left leaning ones? That’s just the way it is. Then they could spend their time serving the American people by working on more serious issues. Isn’t that why we elected them in the first place?

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This blog has a mix of some of my main interests in life: travel, politics, food and generally being a curmudgeon. Enjoy.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “Thurgood Marshall put on trial at Kagan hearings

  1. Cornyn added (present tense) concern about Marshall’s judicial philosophy. It worried the good senator.

    Like you, I’d like to remind Cornyn that the good Justice is dead. Died. Passed. Kicked the bucket. Met his maker. Slipped into the long sleep. Said bye-bye. Stopped messing with the Constitution for good.

    Posted by Moe | June 29, 2010, 2:08 pm
  2. Current / recent justice votes are interesting:
    Scalia 98-0 – R 1986
    Stevens 98-0 – R 1975
    Ginsberg 96-3 – D 1993
    O’Connor 91-8 – R 1981
    Souter 90-9 – R 1990
    Breyer 87-9 – D 1994
    Roberts 78-22 – R 2005
    Rehnquist 68-26 – R 1972
    Sotomayor 68-31 – D 2009
    Alito 58-42 – R 2006
    Thomas 52-48 – R 1991

    9 Republican appointments, 3 Democrat appointments. Not sure what these numbers mean but there does look like a trend toward more partisan votes.

    Posted by Moe | June 29, 2010, 2:28 pm

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