WH close to naming Supreme Court pick

posted at 12:15 pm on May 7, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

On Tuesday’s TEMS, Andrew Malcolm predicted that the White House would announce its nominee to the Supreme Court by yesterday afternoon.  That way, Andrew said, Barack Obama could change the subject from a fumbled response to the Gulf oil spill and yet another near-miss terrorist attack, and dominate the news cycle for the weekend.  Politico now says that Obama will announce Solicitor General Elana Kagan’s appointment to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, but not until Monday, but may leak it ahead of the Sunday talk shows:

Look for President Obama to name his Supreme Court pick Monday, and look for it to be Solicitor General Elena Kagan, a former Harvard Law dean. The pick isn’t official, but top White House aides will be shocked if it’s otherwise. Kagan’s relative youth (50) is a huge asset for the lifetime post. And President Obama considers her to be a persuasive, fearless advocate who would serve as an intellectual counterweight to Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Scalia, and could lure swing Justice Kennedy into some coalitions The West Wing may leak the pick to AP’s Ben Feller on the later side Sunday, then confirm it for others for morning editions. For now, aides say POTUS hasn’t decided, to their knowledge.

Leaking it on Saturday afternoon would be a waste of a Friday news cycle, but it would make sense to do it today or tomorrow.  The Sunday shows will mainly focus on the Gulf spill or Faisal Shahzad, the two top political stories of the week.  The former has not been a good narrative for the Obama administration, with plenty of critics questioning the administration’s readiness and attacking its announced drilling-expansion policy.  The latter may be better in terms of law enforcement, but already people are questioning why a series of terrorist attacks have come to fruition in the last few months after years of security under the Bush administration.  If the White House wants to move attention away from both stories for the Sunday talk shows, an announcement of a SCOTUS pick would be the most effective way to do it.

If it’s Kagan, what does that say about the White House?  Kagan is a relatively safe choice who can count on some opposition but not adamant obstruction on the Hill. She’ll be a liberal justice, but probably not a radical one, which will leave the Left disappointed.  She won’t get a unanimous vote but won’t get filibustered either.  The White House knows this, and such a choice would tell us that they’re not interested in picking a fight with Republicans on Capitol Hill this close to the midterms.  Obama wants to burnish his “moderate” cred, and Kagan’s choice allows him to make that argument.

Politically, though, that could be a mistake.  A fight on Capitol Hill could actually energize the highly-discouraged progressive base for the next election.  It would also energize the conservative base, but that’s already a given.  It could give independents a reason to reconsider Obama, but probably won’t do anything for Democrats in Congress in the elections.

Addendum: Could the HuffPo not find a less flattering picture of Kagan?


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Addendum: Could the HuffPo not find a less flattering picture of Kagan?

Is that why I see a “Dog-Human Hybrid?” ad on the right hand side of the page?

Abby Adams on May 7, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Is the fickle-which-way-is-the-wind-blowing-Independent voter block ever energized by a Supreme Court pick?

myrenovations on May 7, 2010 at 12:19 PM

A Harvard lesbian. Uh, yay?

And, enough with friggin Harvard already.

Moesart on May 7, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Yeah…meanwhile, Nashville TN is underwater in the worst disaster to hit the state since the Civil War.

White House response…FEMA…Democrats who harped on Katrina and blamed Bush for it…?





Hellooooooooooo?

Do they even care? At all?

Good Lt on May 7, 2010 at 12:21 PM

Moesart on May 7, 2010 at 12:19 PM

Ix-nay on the esbin-lay or Proud Rino will reprimand you.

myrenovations on May 7, 2010 at 12:22 PM

She’ll be a liberal justice, but probably not a radical one…

In this day and age, if she’s a Liberal justice, then she’s also a radical one.

catmman on May 7, 2010 at 12:24 PM

Are lesbians wiser than Latinos?

greggriffith on May 7, 2010 at 12:25 PM

I say the Republicans should not make a huge fuss over this candidate, rather they should be gracious, accept the president’s decision and then move on. That way when it comes our turn again to appoint a justice, the Dems will do the same for us.

Not.

Will the GOP ever learn this lesson?

fogw on May 7, 2010 at 12:27 PM

Are lesbians wiser than Latinos?

greggriffith on May 7, 2010 at 12:25 PM

Yes, but not wiser than wise Latinas that have experience in the real world.

NJ Red on May 7, 2010 at 12:28 PM

If it’s Kagan, what does that say about the White House? Kagan is a relatively safe choice who can count on some opposition but not adamant obstruction on the Hill. She’ll be a liberal justice, but probably not a radical one, which will leave the Left disappointed.

Uhhhmm, not so sure I can go with you on that one. Kagan’s decision to bar recruiters (& I think ROTC as well) at Harvard does not go over real well with most American’s sentiments. Particularly given the reluctance of the Administration to even define who our enemies are le3t alone defend us from them. Plus this from someone seeking a lifetime appt while we are in a war likely to last most of our lifetimes.

No Ed, I think R’s could actually get alot mileage out of making this a real fight, drag it into elections as a demonstration of the Dhimmi’s not being serious on National defense along with Gitmo, the eunich-bomber, etc.

Archimedes on May 7, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Harvard Law Dean….hmmm…let’s ask her if Africa is a Country and how many states there are????

SDarchitect on May 7, 2010 at 12:35 PM

She was the administration’s point person on passing anti-tobacco legislation, negotiating in 1998 with Republican Sen. John McCain to give the federal government the authority to control cigarettes, as it does pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Well she already has a history with the maverick so I would guess she will sail through.

fourdeucer on May 7, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Elena Kagan makes Sonia Sotomayor look hot by comparison.

nickj116 on May 7, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Obama=Liberal=Radical

Kagan=Liberal=Radical

Does anyone remember when we thought Blue Dogs were more like Conservatives?

Does anyone remember when we thought the moderates appointed to SCOTUS would be fair minded and not side with the RADICALS on the bench?

Yeah. I do too.

Uh, no to not being radical. Besides, these not so radical people have a tendency to go butt wild radical once they arrive to their ultimate destination like Supreme and President. It is like say, a pattern of behavior. History says Kagan might end up making the wise Latina look like Roberts.

freeus on May 7, 2010 at 12:39 PM

I don’t have a problem with her wearing a flannel shirt under her robe. A mullett popularity is over due.

seven on May 7, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Filibuster no matter who he picks. Show the country that we just don’t trust anything they do anymore, and I believe the country will get behind that.

Daggett on May 7, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Another thing, the Republicans need to ask her questions regarding all the issues we are facing regarding violations of the Constitution, health care, immigration, states rights, etc. The GOP needs to use this as a teaching moment, and a future campaign ad. We need to use this as an educational moment as to the differences between an activist judge who should not be a judge in Civil Court much less a Supreme.

freeus on May 7, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Kagan was the runner up to Janet Reno in the Miss-Likely-To-Never-Marry beauty pageant .

DeweyWins on May 7, 2010 at 12:44 PM

WOOOHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m telling you, she is a hard a&* when it comes to fighting terror.

Look at the huffpo link’s comments. 9 out of 10 are ticked off.

THIS IS THE BEST NOMINEE WE’LL GET UNDER OBAMA. EVER. this move — replacing Stevens no less!! — IS SHIFTING THE COURT TO THE RIGHT!

battleoflepanto1571 on May 7, 2010 at 12:44 PM

The HuffPo probably thinks that is flattering picture. The butch look never fails if you are trying to appease a large number of liberal constituents. ;-)

rhombus on May 7, 2010 at 12:44 PM

Ix-nay on the esbin-lay or Proud Rino will reprimand you.

myrenovations on May 7, 2010 at 12:22 PM

I know, isn’t it awful how I keep correcting the incorrect things you all say? Very sorry. Continue on in blissful ignorance.

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 12:46 PM

May I ask, if she is a lesbian with a committed partner, should that be something the Senate should consider?

SC.Charlie on May 7, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Is she married?

PappyD61 on May 7, 2010 at 12:50 PM

May I ask, if she is a lesbian with a committed partner, should that be something the Senate should consider?

SC.Charlie on May 7, 2010 at 12:50 PM

No. But she’s not a lesbian.

Is she married?

PappyD61 on May 7, 2010 at 12:50 PM

No, but she’s not a lesbian. You’d be surprised at how many ultracompetitive, ultra-ambitious attorneys who work 80 hr weeks their whole lives aren’t married.

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Republicans don’t have the cajones to protest…. wait! Is that sexist?

ultracon on May 7, 2010 at 12:54 PM

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 12:53 PM

I don’t think that should be a qualifier or a disqualifier, but…

where do you get your information? Got a link that isn’t whitehouse.gov?

cs89 on May 7, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Don’t mind Proud Rino, he just loves his hobby horse so very much.

myrenovations on May 7, 2010 at 1:03 PM

Elena Kagan makes Sonia Sotomayor look hot by comparison.

nickj116

Well, I guess being “hot” is important when interpreting the law. Shouldn’t you be watching Jersey Shore?

Grow Fins on May 7, 2010 at 1:05 PM

DeweyWins

Funny how all these cons who supposedly hate identity politics suddenly find it very important to zero in on sexual orientation as some kind of criteria for evaluation…

Grow Fins on May 7, 2010 at 1:08 PM

I don’t think that should be a qualifier or a disqualifier, but…

where do you get your information? Got a link that isn’t whitehouse.gov?

cs89 on May 7, 2010 at 1:03 PM

I don’t have a link, just friends who had her (AS A PROFESSOR, I’m not saying they “had” her..anyway) or who worked with her in some respect in the past few years – pretty unanimous “nah, she’s not gay.”

I mean, I guess she could have pulled a Kelly McGillis on us, but I haven’t heard anything about that. I don’t think the White House would have vehemently denied the rumors if they weren’t false.

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 1:10 PM

I didn’t really ask anyone more than that, so I don’t know “why” they’re so sure she’s straight, but I felt creepy even asking as much as I did.

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Liberals have so successful feminized the US that women, both ugly and beautiful, are turning lesbian because the only testicles you can find – even among conservatives – are on the women.

Daggett on May 7, 2010 at 1:16 PM

(successfully)

Daggett on May 7, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Funny how all these cons who supposedly hate identity politics suddenly find it very important to zero in on sexual orientation as some kind of criteria for evaluation…

Grow Fins on May 7, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Sorry Skippy but I was mocking her looks not her sexuality .

Get it straight, pay attention, show a little effort .

We need some new trolls at HA .

DeweyWins on May 7, 2010 at 1:17 PM

Well, if ever there was a woman who belongs in a thick black robe, she’s it.

RBMN on May 7, 2010 at 1:22 PM

Well, I guess being “hot” is important when interpreting the law. Shouldn’t you be watching Jersey Shore?

Grow Fins on May 7, 2010 at 1:05 PM

And I would guess having a sense of humor is important in life? Shouldn’t you be out getting one?

MississippiMom on May 7, 2010 at 1:26 PM

but probably won’t do anything for Democrats in Congress in the elections.

When has that ever mattered to Barry? It still is all about him.

ss396 on May 7, 2010 at 1:32 PM

A liberal justice, but not a radical one.

Sorry, doesn’t compute.

changer1701 on May 7, 2010 at 1:37 PM

I don’t think the White House would have vehemently denied the rumors if they weren’t false.

Well, we don’t know. But if anyone can deny rumors and tell lies on a world-class level, it’s this White House.

Emperor Norton on May 7, 2010 at 1:39 PM

I’m tellin ya, Obama needs to nominate a Muslim Asian Ladyboy/Shemale. It’s the only kind of candidate that fills all the right holes, so to speak.

Daggett on May 7, 2010 at 1:41 PM

Well, I guess being “hot” is important when interpreting the law. Shouldn’t you be watching Jersey Shore?

Grow Fins on May 7, 2010 at 1:05 PM

What is WITH all of these women who bash men for noticing looks?? As if women don’t comment on the looks of Scott Brown, John Thune, Paul Ryan, etc, etc, etc.

Hypocrisy is not flattering.

And as if I care more about looks than policies. PLEASE.

nickj116 on May 7, 2010 at 1:43 PM

Funny how all these cons who supposedly hate identity politics suddenly find it very important to zero in on sexual orientation as some kind of criteria for evaluation…

Grow Fins on May 7, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Aren’t libs constantly telling us to “celebrate diversity?” We’re just checking off the scorecard for how many identities she has. She’s past Eve, but not quite up to Sybil.

TugboatPhil on May 7, 2010 at 1:44 PM

And I would guess having a sense of humor is important in life? Shouldn’t you be out getting one?

MississippiMom on May 7, 2010 at 1:26 PM

God bless you.

nickj116 on May 7, 2010 at 1:44 PM

MississippiMom on May 7, 2010 at 1:26 PM

The only sense of humor liberals have is when they’re mocking Palin or Booosh.

search4truth on May 7, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Heh.

The Next Harriet Miers

rockmom on May 7, 2010 at 1:54 PM

Obama to white men in the law profession:You need not apply for any scotus openings.

angryed on May 7, 2010 at 1:55 PM

Well, I guess being “hot” is important when interpreting the law. Shouldn’t you be watching Jersey Shore?

Grow Fins on May 7, 2010 at 1:05 PM

Nobody asked you to prom huh?

angryed on May 7, 2010 at 1:56 PM

I thought that picture was Rachel Madcow with some extra weight.
The only attractive female this administration hired, got fired. Desiree, if only you were ugly or 50 lbs overweight, you’d still have a job.

lonestar1 on May 7, 2010 at 1:56 PM

Obama has never backed down from a fight. And he has won every fight with Republicans. It makes no sense for him to suddenly take the middle ground with Kagan.

Which leads me to think Kagan is a hell of a lot more radical than you make her out to be.

angryed on May 7, 2010 at 2:01 PM

I thought that picture was Rachel Madcow with some extra weight.
The only attractive female this administration hired, got fired. Desiree, if only you were ugly or 50 lbs overweight, you’d still have a job.

lonestar1 on May 7, 2010 at 1:56 PM

And Vera Baker.

seven on May 7, 2010 at 2:04 PM

Elena Kagan makes Sonia Sotomayor look hot by comparison.

nickj116 on May 7, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Maybe the next Republican President should appoint Megyn Kelly to SCOTUS! She DOES have a law degree…

Steve Z on May 7, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Maybe the next Republican President should appoint Megyn Kelly to SCOTUS! She DOES have a law degree…

Steve Z on May 7, 2010 at 2:06 PM

Super Bowl-type ratings for that confirmation hearing.

myrenovations on May 7, 2010 at 2:19 PM

No, but she’s not a lesbian. You’d be surprised at how many ultracompetitive, ultra-ambitious attorneys who work 80 hr weeks their whole lives aren’t married.

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 12:53 PM

That’s worse than being a lesbian.

Andy in Agoura Hills on May 7, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Funny how all these cons who supposedly hate identity politics suddenly find it very important to zero in on sexual orientation as some kind of criteria for evaluation…

Grow Fins on May 7, 2010 at 1:08 PM

Yeah, it sure is. We learned to play the game just like you a–holes.

Andy in Agoura Hills on May 7, 2010 at 2:23 PM

What is it with Democrat Presidents and women with crew cuts…?
Is he trying to start a softball game ?

NeoKong on May 7, 2010 at 2:25 PM

Is this Kevin James in drag?

Inanemergencydial on May 7, 2010 at 2:39 PM

If she is gay and putting on a front can she be trusted?

Her issue is valid. If the next few years bring cases to the court regarding state laws defining marriage, will she have a persoanl agenda or honor states rights?

seven on May 7, 2010 at 2:46 PM

That’s worse than being a lesbian.

Andy in Agoura Hills on May 7, 2010 at 2:21 PM

Ugh, losers like you make me sick. Ambition is bad. Competition is bad. Hard work is bad. Excellence is bad. Let’s all be mediocre. Every kid gets a trophy. Etc.

Pathetic.

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 3:02 PM

Proud Rino and Grow Fins, two libs who prove that liberals have no sense of humor.

Vince on May 7, 2010 at 3:02 PM

(AS A PROFESSOR, I’m not saying they “had” her..anyway)

Actually PR, that was funny!

Vince on May 7, 2010 at 3:04 PM

Remember earlier this week when the msm asked the question, ‘is it time for a gay on the court’? Should have been a big red flag flying after that trial balloon was sent aloft. There is no such thing as a moderate.

Kissmygrits on May 7, 2010 at 3:10 PM

Proud Rino-
Actually, I believe that she is a lesbian. She is just not an out of the closet lesbian.

Domenech later added an addendum stating, “I have to correct my text here to say that Kagan is apparently still closeted — odd, because her female partner is rather well known in Harvard circles.”

Not that it matters, of course! /

texgal on May 7, 2010 at 3:12 PM

texgal on May 7, 2010 at 3:12 PM

I know what he said. It’s a pretty massively d-bag statement, calling her “apparently still closeted,” because they’re not closeted once you identify them as “apparently still closeted,” you tremendous d-bag.

But why would she deny it if this were all true? It wouldn’t hurt her career in the slightest, I think Obama would love to be the first to appoint a gay justice to the Court, and – if Kagan were gay – Kagan would be a fine choice.

Anyway, I trust my friends who went to HLS and know Dean Kagan over some d-bag blogger who traffics in baseless speculation.

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 3:24 PM

This is how Socialists are gaining their power. Not so much with the senate and house but with the Justice Department. It’s liberal anti-corporate ideologies of the amoral lawyers that have made health care expensive with frivolous get rich quick lawsuits. I’ve even heard suspposed Republican friends consider getting their lottery winnings via a malpractice suit. Its not an accident that just about every Democratic Candidate for this office or that office is a Lawyer. Democrats always front lawyers as candidates, damn near every one of them. Major law schools are tainted with Socialistic and anti-corporate ideologies. This appointment is just another nail in the coffin and a flaw in our constitution that appoints Judges for life.

Egfrow on May 7, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Egfrow on May 7, 2010 at 3:26 PM

Where did you go to law school?

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 3:31 PM

Oh goodie!

MCGIRV on May 7, 2010 at 3:33 PM

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 3:24 PM

Obama hasn’t exactly been running to get rid of DADT, and angered some advocates over the marriage issue…

Dunno her orientation, but stating Obama wouldn’t have reasons to deny the rumors (even if true) is willful blindness.

cs89 on May 7, 2010 at 3:44 PM

Obama hasn’t exactly been running to get rid of DADT, and angered some advocates over the marriage issue…

Obama opposes DADT. Why do we still have DADT? Who was it in the Senate that was ranting about how we needed to keep DADT? Was it the Democratic nominee for president in 2008, or was it the Republican nominee? Maybe you should go check.

Maybe he’s angered some advocates over the marriage issue, but remember that Bush wanted to add an amendment to the Constitution keeping marriage between a man and a woman. Democrats don’t want that. I’m not exactly sure what point you’re making, but if the argument is, “Democrats treat homosexuals just as badly as Republicans do,” that’s completely false. We only have the DADT compromise because of conservative opposition to letting gays in the military in the first place.

Dunno her orientation, but stating Obama wouldn’t have reasons to deny the rumors (even if true) is willful blindness.

cs89 on May 7, 2010 at 3:44 PM

It’d be a really easy, and kind of meaningless, way for Obama to curry favor with the gay community without offending too many religious potential swing voters. It’s an easy political score, why not capitalize on it?

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 3:54 PM

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 3:54 PM

My point is really simple. Let me type it in short sentences.

Obama probably does want to appoint the 1st gay justice. He doesn’t want the flack for it during confirmation. Therefore, a “closeted” pick is a possibility.

The Democratic nominee WON (rendering the GOP nominee’s position moot). Approaching 2 years later, DADT is still in place.

I think that’s a good thing, but if Obama thought appointing a gay justice was smart politics, seems he’d think similarly about ending DADT.

cs89 on May 7, 2010 at 4:00 PM

addendum- ending DADT quickly.

cs89 on May 7, 2010 at 4:01 PM

cs89 on May 7, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Meanwhile, back in reality-

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/social_issues/jan-june10/military_02-23.html

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 4:07 PM

addendum- ending DADT quickly.

cs89 on May 7, 2010 at 4:01 PM

Logic fail.

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Proud Rino on May 7, 2010 at 4:08 PM

Presumably, he could end it immediately by executive order. His justice department is still defending DADT, and the “process” is moving forward, but slowly.

Too slowly for these California protesters, well over a year after Obama was sworn in-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/7611434/Barack-Obama-heckled-by-dont-ask-dont-tell-protesters.html

cs89 on May 7, 2010 at 4:44 PM

Looks like Janet Napolitano and Rachel Maddow artifically inseminated Frank Luntz’s sperm to come up with this one.

Huckabye-Romney on May 7, 2010 at 4:49 PM

She has the rep as a closeted lesbian, don’t know, don’t care, but if Obama wanted to seat the first gay judge to the SC, I’m sorry, but that ship sailed a loooong time ago. Maybe they should say “Out and Proud Gay” for distinction.

di butler on May 7, 2010 at 6:47 PM

Hey! Chas Bono is available! What could go wrong?

Cybergeezer on May 8, 2010 at 9:37 AM