The nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court by President Obama has sent pundits and opinionmakers on the left and the right into a frenzy of breathless speculation and skepticism. But the collective anxiety isn't just about whether she'll push the court left or right — and both sides are worried she will — but over how little we actually know of her. I think this is all just a little hysterical.
True, she's never been a judge, so we don't know much about her positions on the issues that, as a Supreme Court justice, she'll be forced to confront. And yes, her academic record, while impressive, also doesn't offer a whole lot of insight into her political leanings. As solicitor general she was appointed to represent the government, so her opinions there aren't really illuminating either.
A New York Times editorial this week titled "Searching for Elena Kagan" nervously asked, "Where, precisely, has Ms. Kagan been during the legal whirlwinds of the last few years, as issues like executive power, same-sex marriage, the rights of the accused and proper application of the death penalty have raged through the courts?"
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