May 11th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Elena Kagan right choice for Supreme Court?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama promised us Supreme Court candidates who can relate to the "real world" and how the law affects ordinary Americans... but there are questions whether Elena Kagan fits that description.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/05/11/art.kagan.jpg caption=""]
Kagan comes from a world unknown to most Americans: from Manhattan's Upper West Side... on to Princeton University and then Harvard Law School.

Former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer jokes with Politico: "Are you suggesting that Princeton, Harvard and New York aren't the totality of real life?"

But a lot of people don't think it's funny, saying that someone who has spent so much time in elite academic settings is out-of-touch with average Americans.

So far - only one Republican has publicly said he would oppose Kagan's nomination to the high court. Oklahoma senator James Inhofe says he's concerned about Kagan's lack of judicial experience. He also points to her decision as dean of Harvard Law School to block military recruiters from the campus - in protest of the Pentagon's "Don't Ask-Don't Tell" policy. This could wind up being one of the biggest issues in her confirmation process.

Other critics also point to Kagan's lack of litigation experience and her scant writings. There's not the usual "paper trail" to vet a Supreme Court nominee here. Kagan has no judicial experience - she's never been a judge and has only written a few legal articles.

Also, some worry her lack of a public record means nobody knows what Kagan stands for but Pres. Obama. Still, others question Kagan's hiring record as dean of Harvard Law school - four out of every five hires were white men. Not exactly a poster child for diversity. Lots of questions...

Here’s my question to you: Is Elena Kagan the right choice to be the next Supreme Court justice?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Stephen in Camden, Maine writes:
Kagan appears to be highly qualified academically, as well as a sharp and likable person. In a recent article, though, someone suggested Kagan has wanted a seat on the Supreme Court since she was a youngster. It almost appears that her thin paper trail has been a life-long strategy calculated to help her clear Senate confirmation. If her convictions were mainstream, this would not be necessary.

Mark writes:
Jack, She apparently has the ability to go toe-to-toe intellectually with Scalia. She reflects the character of the American people more than Alito or Roberts, who reflect the character of the American corporation. She will make an immeasurably better justice than Clarence Thomas, but so would my cat. As for being elitist, would you rather have Joe the Plumber?

Linda writes:
How can you say in one breath that we don't know enough about her, and then ask in the next if she is the right choice? Let the process run its course. Those who have the responsibility to decide her qualifications will find out what they need to know.

Dave writes:
"Comes from a world unknown to most Americans" – as did Justice Sotomayor, but apparently the South Bronx is more real than the Upper West Side? Come on, Jack, you've been living in New York long enough not to make a comment like that. Yes, she's the right choice, but only because Hillary Clinton is indispensable as Secretary of State.

Kevin in Illinois writes:
I think she is a solid choice for the Supreme Court. I believe that Barack Obama would be a great choice as well when he is out of office in 2016.

Mark in Oklahoma writes:
She is female, not a judge, dean of Harvard Law School, intelligent, probably has some common sense. What else would you want? One of the gals from "The View"?

Filed under: Elena Kagan • Supreme Court
soundoff (168 Responses)
  1. Randy from Salt Lake City

    I don't know how you can nominate someone to the highest court in the country who's never been a judge before. But, she worked for Goldman Sachs so she MUST be ok, right? We are totally doomed.

    May 11, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  2. Jimbo Of Chicago

    Elena Kagan is a good bud of the President. That's all it takes today. Just be a good bud of the President.

    May 11, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  3. Allison Allen from Charlotte, NC

    No. Elena Kagan has no experience being a judge. I would feel secure if she did. This is a lifetime position that requires knowledge of constiutional law. For the fact that she was a law clerk, that still does not qualify her to be a Supreme Court judge.

    May 11, 2010 at 1:46 pm |
  4. altaloman

    Think about your question, Jack and ask: Was Obama the right choice for President? It depends on your perspective and only time and history will tell about these choices. For now, the people and Congress have to accept the fact that Kagan is Obama's choice. Only Congress gets to vote on the matter. The people voted when they (we) elected Obama.

    ~ Mike in Anaheim, CA

    May 11, 2010 at 1:53 pm |
  5. Cheryl in Bluffton, SC

    Given the fact that she pisses off idealogues on the far right and the far left, she's the perfect choice.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
  6. Jerry Driskell

    Definitely ! I think the "court" would be even better if it were made up of ALL women; but they would all need to be women that have never been judges. Where else is a better place to get "on job training" ?

    May 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  7. Brian

    It depends on who you ask. If you ask the smart Non-Americans they say she is a perfect choice. If you ask the "Real Americans" they will tell you she is not qualified for the highest court even after of 20 years in the legal system and an ivy-league education at Harvard. These are the same people that argued that Sarah Palin was qualified to be President. In my mind she may not be perfect but if you can argue that Palin was qualified, then she is overqualified by that standard of measure.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm |
  8. Ed from MD

    She seems as good a choice as George W. Bush was for president. Because, compared to her own opinions freedom and the constitution is just a G'dam piece of paper. Government serves government which seems owned by the bankers and no doubt she will support a more totalitarian future for America.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:07 pm |
  9. Fred R DeLeon SR

    Jack, Elena Kagan as ex-employee of The Clinton's and ex-Dean of
    Harvard University School of Law she has the best references for the Supreme Court justice.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:08 pm |
  10. Thomas in Tx.

    Well ,I like what I've heard so far. Of course, we could all (including President Obama) be surprised later- remember Pres.Bush 41 by Justice Souter and Pres. Ford by Justice Stevens?

    May 11, 2010 at 2:13 pm |
  11. joe

    well Jack..its too early to say...not enuff skeletons have been rattled...and of course the Confirmation Grilling will not be a walk in the park...i'm waiting on more facts to be revealed..before i decide either way....

    May 11, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
  12. Maria

    Who knows? It seems neither the left nor the right aren't really 'officially' opposing her. It's hard to know when there really is no judicial paper trail to study before confirmation hearings. I think she's a shoe-in.



    May 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  13. Dee

    She seems totally acceptable, as though she has no actual experience as a judge, she does have experience as Solicitor General, representing the government before the supreme Court.

    Of course, there will be those who want to block her appointment for whatever reason, but I really don;t see how they can not call her qualified.

    I think much of the quibbling about SCOTUS appointments stems from the fact that the job is for life, which is much better than other jobs, especially given the current state of our economy.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  14. george c paree

    once I agree with the president I believe she will make good judge .I have dtsk agreed with everything obam a has done so far and think everthing needs to be repeal chuck paree anderson in.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  15. John from Alabama

    Jack: I believe Ms. Kagan is the right choice to be the next member of the Supreme Court. She is not a controversial choice by President Obama. I do not believe the republicans or democrats will filabuster her nomination in the US Senate; therefore, Ms. Kagan will only need 51 Senators to say, yea. Ms. Kagan knows the law, and is passionate about it. Dean of the Harvard University Law School and the Solicitor General for the Justice Department speaks well for Ms. Kagan. She has also advised presidents on the law.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
  16. Michael, Alexandria, VA

    She is not only right, she is obvious, Jack. If her only opposition is from a Senator who is so ill-informed that he did not know that the ROTC ban existed before she was Dean, she should sail through.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:32 pm |
  17. Ralph

    No, she's more like the left choice...
    Ralph-Corpus Christi,Texas

    May 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  18. Kevin from Milwaukee WI

    Don't really know much about her. Honestly, I think Judge Judy would be a good candidate. She doesn't tolerate any mess. The way the country is who knows who is good for it and who's not.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:37 pm |
  19. calvin

    If she up hold the law go vhoice. If she only favors certain thing kick her out.
    when has it become a break the law if you think it is a wrong law for your type .people. If this is the reason every one should break the law. laws are make to up hold certain things. drunk driving people who stealing, ect. why should a minor run any law into the ground until it is proved wrong or is profiling people. We have to carry our drivers licenes, bring our birth papers when we apply for a passport. So why do we have to end over for a certain groupe of people. if this is the case throw out all the written laws and fire all the cops and let who ever wants to due there thing and never stop them. People of the USA it time to vote out all the government and start a new one now.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:41 pm |
  20. Larry from Georgetown, Tx

    No she's not but not because she doesn't have judicial experience or the fact that she kept recruiters off of the campus at Harvard but because we need more diversity on the Court. Not just people from Harvard and Yale Law. I've never met her but she is more qualified to do this than me.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:43 pm |
  21. Greg in Cabot, AR

    Sometimes, a lack of experience can also mean a lack of bad habits.

    Would we feel better if President Obama nominated a middle age, white male with gray hair, you know, just like the career lifetime bureaucrats in Congress?

    I think we need a fresh look at the Constitution rather than someone with preconceived views and "their" interpretation of what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they wrote it.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:47 pm |
  22. Jurgen R. Brul

    Hello Jack Cafferty and CNN friends,

    Time will tell if Elena Kagan is the right choice for the Supreme Court justice, because past good results of Elena Kagan is not a guarantee for future good results in the Supreme Court of the United States!

    Jurgen R. Brul

    May 11, 2010 at 2:51 pm |
  23. Byron, Atlanta

    We need more down to earth people like Roberts, Scalia, Alito, and Thomas.

    You know, regular Joes you can have a beer with and who live paycheck to paycheck like the rest of us.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:52 pm |
  24. Carla from Birmingham

    I think she's a very poor choice. While I applaud her blocking of military recruiters while at Harvard, I feel that her obviously slanted hiring practices are a matter of grave concern. I also feel that her elite background makes her unfit as a candidate.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:53 pm |
  25. Joey D.

    No. She lacks experience both on the bench and in front of it. She is an elitist who has lost contact with ordinary folks–if she ever had it to begin with. Is she a lesbian? I don't really care to know, except that it is probably relevant insofar as it will tell a great deal about her philosophy that can't be found in her nonexistent judicial record. Let's face facts. There are very few LBGT's with middle-of-the-road political views. Most lean farther to the left than most liberals and have extreme political views and agendas than even the staunchest democrats.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:54 pm |
  26. Jane (Minnesota)

    The right choice by whose rules, Jack – that's a subjective question. President Obama by his election has the right to nominate the person he believes will be a good justice.

    President Obama believes she's qualified; the Senate should do their duty and determine whether she is qualified so serve and leave the grandstanding and nastiness out of the process. Not being conservative enough is not a valid reason not to confirm her in my book; understanding that Constitution is.

    Juding by the past few Supreme Court decisions, understanding the Constutition wasn't a pre-requisite for a number of the sitting Justices to get there.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:56 pm |
  27. Byron, Atlanta

    Remember, Thomas had ONE year of judicial experience when he was appointed to the Supreme Court. Roberts had TWO years on the bench.

    Rhenquist had NO judicial experience when he was appointed.

    Earl Warren was a governor, not a judge.

    Why didn't the people who are so concerned about judicial experience now, say anything before? Were the people who are now Tea Party people protesting Roberts' and Thomas' appointments back then?

    May 11, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
  28. Mr D

    Sounds like many of her life experiences are similar to Obamas. Her lack of experience in critical areas also seems to pattern after Obama. Birds of a feather flock together. But them again, when have "real" people ever been represented by politicians or political appointees.? What a country.

    May 11, 2010 at 2:58 pm |
  29. Eugene from California

    No she's not. We all knew Obama would replace a liberal with another liberal but not someone with no experience. The Supreme Court is no place for on the job training, of another Harvard Law School elitist.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  30. Marlene

    Jack, over 40 of the previous 101 Supreme Court Justices had not been judges. Many had prominent careers and were acclaimed as justices, so that is a moot point. Sen.Inhofe would rather have a white, old, protestant man (ie. GOPer) nominated. Since Robert Bork, those nominees who get confirmed have had very thin traces of writings, so they could avoid criticism (ie. Chief Justice Roberts). Maybe the Pres. should have nominated a judge like the one who said "The Day of Prayer" was unconstitutional, or the one who allowed abusing animal videos, or the one who said it was alright for Corporations to donate to election campaigns (oh, wait – that was the Supreme Court). Being a judge is not a predicter of good judgement! Marlene in Mich

    May 11, 2010 at 3:01 pm |
  31. Joe Hanson


    Joe Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

    May 11, 2010 at 3:04 pm |
  32. katiec

    The fact that the republicans are not supporting her is all the more reason to appoint her. They probably fear there will be no more outlandish decisions in favor of their big business co-horts. It will be refreshing to have someone who has not played the games, has never been a part of the good ole boys and very aware, fluent knowledge of our constitution.
    She will be a welcome improvement.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  33. Dan Bushey

    Got to be kidding me!! Change in America? Yeah right!! Oboma's putting his "friends in higher places!! Change? This is the same old crap,-"Scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours". Change? I don't think so!! Attention Oboma, and CONGRESS!! She ain't no Thurgood Marshall !!!! In short, and In my opinion, as a citizen, she is NOT,– U.S. Supreme Court material, period!! Never was, and never will be!! Her supposedly "CREDENTIALS" is, "A passion for the law". Sorry, NOT GOOD ENGOUGH, to be a U.S. Supreme Court Justice, in our country's highest court, AND, for a –Guaranteed life-time job and income. Hell, I don't have a guaranteed income and job!!

    Signed: Dan Bushey
    Holiday, Florida

    May 11, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  34. Jill

    50% of the country is women. So it's good that a woman is being nominated. But the fact that all the justices are from Harvard and Yale is troubling. We need diversity on numerous levels, not just in terms of gender.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  35. Tom McGrath

    I think President Obama's choice is a great choice to honor the diversity of the American people. After all the more diverse this country gets the better off it will be.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:07 pm |
  36. Simon/Orlando

    Ya. Let's just get one more Ivy Leaguer from Harvard or Yale on the court so they can be completely out of touch with the rest of us poor
    schmucks from middle America. I guess that Obama thinks that if you're not from a superior eastern school like him you don't have the brains to interpret the constitution. Talk about elitism.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  37. Jack in Florida

    Elena Kagan is as much the right choice for SCOTUS as any of those already there. You and others on the right use the same nonsense claiming she doesn't have experience. Only those who serve on the court can claim experience just as only those who have served as President can claim "experience". Clinton and Bush have "experience as President . Would you like them back with their "experience"?

    May 11, 2010 at 3:09 pm |
  38. Luis Teixeira

    The immigrants support Elena Keagan...

    May 11, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  39. ~BEVERLY~Mystic,Iowa

    It's a little scary that only 1 Republican is opposing her, so she may be a bit too far to the right. However, her students, co-workers, & everyone I've heard, who is familiar with her, have only praise for her. In fact, she was the most popular teacher of Constitutional Law, with Barack Obama coming in second! Just because she never had to live on food stamps, as Barack Obama did, doesn't mean that she can't relate to those who are less fortunate. "Nobody knows what she stands for except President Obama", so if she is his top choice, she meets his requirements, & high standards, which means that she's ideal.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:13 pm |
  40. Ed from California

    Who knows. I for one don't agree that anyone, in government service be appointed to any government job for life. I believe that the Supreme's should be voted in by the people and not the politicians.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:14 pm |
  41. Tom McGrath

    I think President Obama's choice is a great choice to honor the diversity of the American people. After all the more diverse this country gets the better off it will be.

    P.S. I forgot to add that I am writing from Beverly Hills California

    May 11, 2010 at 3:15 pm |
  42. perry jones

    i dont think there is a right choice for this job that being said she would not be in the running for me

    perry jones
    council bluffs ia

    May 11, 2010 at 3:17 pm |
  43. Doc in Arlington Texas

    Kagan is a good pick, and better than most. She is a pragmatic political centrist with solid credentials all round. As for connecting with ordinary people, since when are lawyers ordinary? They are a breed apart. They have to be in order to pursue the law. The Law demands a highly specialized skill set and knowledge set that most of us mere mortals cannot master. I know this for a fact because I come from a family of lawyers and I am not one. I got the recessive genes.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  44. Rob in NC

    Absolutely not! Shouldn't a person who will be a supreme court justice have judged at least 1 case? How can she be eligible for this positon with no experience? I'm sure she will get appointed if the majority of Americans say they do not support her nomination.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
  45. Bizz Quarryville, Pennsylvania

    I think Elena Kagan is a good choice for the Supreme Court. She has experience as Solicitor general, Harvard law school dean and White House associate counsel. She is well educated with degrees from Princeton, Oxford and Harvard law school. The fact that she has no judicial experience along with concerns from liberals on where she stands on certain issues, makes her a person that will help a divided high court. Her nomination will help keep the court more balanced. Keeping the court balanced should be the most important thing when choosing a Supreme Court judge.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  46. Kevin in Dallas

    Hey, if we can have a President with little-to-no experience, then we can have a Supreme Court Justice with little-to-no experience. I mean, it's not like repeatedly putting people into office who are lacking relevant experience will ever come back to bite us, right? Lets roll the dice one more time!

    May 11, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  47. Marc from San Diego

    I have no idea, and neither does 99% of the general public. The majority of American's who are either in complete support or against this Supreme Court nomination are the "Republican's good and Democrat's bad" crowd or vice versa.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:31 pm |

    Obviously no.
    Jack, this question is more about President Obama not knowing what an average American is than anything else.
    If the average American goes to Harvard and Princeton, where do the rich and elite go? I guess the really poor Americans go to state run colleges and pay a $50,000 a year tuition too.
    I bet you Kagan don't even know how much a gallon of milk or a loaf of bread cost.
    The more I know about President Obama and his decision making process the less I like him.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:37 pm |
  49. paul

    We only inforce some laws so who cares

    May 11, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  50. OBDAG from Appleton, WI

    I think Elena Kagan is the right choice for the Supreme Court. I also think she will surprise many people with how well she does even if she has not been a judge. There have been others selected that also lacked experience as a judge but did well overall as well. I would guess that you would say Jeff Toobin would not make a good supreme court justice either since he has not been a judge either.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:42 pm |
  51. Lisa in Ga

    Jack, I think she is a fine pick. The repubicans keep talking about her resume is too thin, that just means that she is not "as "corrupt as the other supreme court judges.... none of them really do their true jobs anyway.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  52. kent, nj

    Kagan is not the right choice for the 21st century. It is time to replace the partisan justices with 9 judicial computers. You input the know data and the computers in turn render you a fair and impartial decision based solely on the facts and the law, not politics. No more black robes, or dog and pony shows for presidential nominations and senate approval.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:44 pm |
  53. Nurse Lisa in Shelton CT

    Why not? But since the Repugs were bound to read into any nominee's writings, cases or off the cuff comments; it is no surprise to find them bemoaning the dearth of Kagan talking points with which they can stir up fear or credible opposition.

    She's argued cases before the high court and clerked for Thurgood Marshall – was he not a good teacher?

    May 11, 2010 at 3:47 pm |
  54. Stephen Burleson, Camden, ME

    Kagan appears to be highly qualified academically, as well as a sharp and likeable person. In a recent article, though, someone suggested Kagan has wanted a seat on the Supreme Court since she was a youngster. It almost appears that her thin paper trail has been a life-long strategy calculated to help her clear Senate confirmation. If her convictions were mainstream, this would not be necessary. Hopefully, she will be forthright during the confirmation hearings about her "constitutional views and commitments". After all, she once argued that nominees should be.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:49 pm |
  55. Lance, Ridgecrest, Ca

    Jack, I don't think she is qualified. She is an administrative teacher with no court experience either as a Lawyer or as a Judge. This smacks of Chicago Political Cronyism from start to finish. She is a member of Obama's "inner circle" so in spite of the problem of no paper trail, you can bet your last dollar she is Progressive Activist Liberal, and the banning of the Recruiters from the Harvard campus is proof of this. Also note, that when faced with losing funding over the recruiter decision, she buckled and recanted, which should tell us she doesn't have the guts to stand by her decisions. Very poor choice!!

    May 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  56. Ann from Charleston SC

    My understanding of the function of the Supreme Court is to determine whether a law is constitutional or not. That, to me, requires justices who have a thorough understanding of that document. All the rest is details.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:53 pm |
  57. David Scott Doherty

    Just what in her background suggests that She can relate to the rest of America? Surely the average American hasn't had the Harvard & Princeton experience, hell most of Americans can't even afford state colleges. So how is it that She can relate, was She polite to the bumbs on the street when She passed them on her way too class?

    May 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm |

    tampa, fl whoopie, another unqualified, inexperienced person appointed to a top level position, for life. just how big a favor does one have to give to get a job like this with our current administration?

    May 11, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  59. John in Tucson

    She's the right choice if you're Obama!

    The only qualifications that Obama is looking for in a justice is the ability to follow his directions without question. A puppet he wants, and a puppet he will get.
    His choice will be an extention of his Socialistic ideology, and will carry on that legacy, long after Obama is booted out of office in 2012.
    John W (Tucson)

    May 11, 2010 at 3:55 pm |
  60. NM in TX


    In a word Y E S !

    However, pity the talking heads and right-wing-nuts as they talk, and talk and talk only to hear their heads rattle.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:57 pm |
  61. Leslie

    I do not agree with the President on this. I think he chose the safest person he could find to get through the vetting process. I think he should have chosen a more liberal judge to try and balance the court but, until I learn more about Mrs. Kagan I will not condemn her as the wrong choice.

    May 11, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  62. Loren, Chicago

    Only in the narrow world of the upper reaches of the Democratic Party could Elena Kagan be seen as the right coice to be the next Supreme Court Justice. From her cosseted experience in the ivory towers of east coast academia to her current role as a White House lackey, nothing of her past suggests a broad view of the United States capable of recognizing anything other than her narrow parochial interests. Typical President Obama move.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
  63. Adam Simi Valley, CA

    I would think someone who was dean of Harvard Law is someone who at least understands the law, but probably practices politics more than law. She has used her position in the past make political statements. She has no track record to speak of. She is also friends with Obama and anyone who gets appointed to a position, with past ties to Obama, has a political agenda that they want to impress upon the nation. Maybe an appointment to an Appeals Court would be in order, but for someone who has never argued a case or decided a case, the Supreme Court seems like a ridiculous place to take off her training wheels.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  64. Dan

    I will hold off judging her till the vetting process is over. In saying this I fell the vetting process for her should be much more intense then it has been for others. With her lack of past rulings and few known stances she should be forced to full answer questions and they should be much more grueling then for past nominees to truly get to her stances on the issues.
    Chattanooga TN

    May 11, 2010 at 4:07 pm |
  65. Frank Guarino


    What does it mean to be the "Right Choice"?

    As far as I'm concerned there is no wrong choice. Anyone nominated is going to be qualified. The rest is all politics and that means the good and the bad all gets put through the process.

    I do like that she has never served as a judge. The court needs thinkers and people who know the real world not just the judicial experience.


    May 11, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  66. Mark, Oklahoma City

    She is female, not a judge, dean of Harvard Law School, intelligent, probably has some common sense.....what else would you want.....one of the gals from "The View"?

    May 11, 2010 at 4:10 pm |
  67. Lori - PA


    After going back and taking a look at people who were possible candidates for the Supreme Court, I have to say that Elena Kegan is not the right choice. She's never been a judge, and therefore no one knows how she would rule on a case. If it were up to me, I would have chosen either Leah Ward Sears, a former judge, or Diane Wood, a federal court judge, as the nominee.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:12 pm |
  68. Rich McKinney, Texas

    Kagan would not be my choice for the Supreme Court but then again there is seldom anything done in Washington that matches my views. I don't see how someone born with a golden spoon in their mouth and that lives in Manhattan all her life working at only the most prestigious schools in the nation can be considered a cross section of the common man or woman. What makes it even worse is she is the spitting image of my sister in law and i can not stand her.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  69. Jim Z..Ft. Worth...Texas

    Jack, being a judge only brings one into the Supreme Court with predisposed notions of righteousness. Being a jurist, I think she will use her knowledge of the law and apply it to her decisions that come before the bench.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  70. Carl

    Why not just leave the position open for now and save the tax payers another life long huge salary with ridculous benefits for some judge that we already have to many of. Thats whats wrong with our country now, way to many overpaid chiefs and not enough indians.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:18 pm |
  71. gabriel-seattle,wa

    well Jack, in terms of being qualified she definitely passes that portion of the test. Knowing that everything she has ever done is gonna be dug through with a magnifying glass she seems pretty clean slate at this point so that goes over well knowing the appointers of her and herself don't have anything controversial that they need explain and worry bout damaging her record. So to me the answer is yes, I think she is not only qualified but a great person for the position to even things out and keep things from going to much to one direction or the other.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  72. EE Wiese

    She may be overly qualified because she isn't conservative enough. I wish President Obama had a more responsible position for her,but if she can put down Roberts it will be mission accomplished. Obviously I haven't recovered frm the sorry decision the supremes made to give more money to the conservatives.Bad things will always happen to good people because that's the way it is.When will the wicked be punished? Gene

    May 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  73. Maria

    She's the perfect choice if you despise the military. Minneapolis, MN

    May 11, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  74. Alex in Gig Harbor, WA

    Denying recruiters access to the campus wasn't in protest, it was in compliance with their anti discrimination policies. Harvard is an equal opportunity employer and groups allowed on campus must comply. Sadly, the military is not yet an equal opportunity employer.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  75. Richard Green


    I don't think she's the right choice. It has nothing to do with a lack of judicial experience. (Judicial experience has brought us the likes of John Roberts and Clarence Thomas.) It's the fact that we know so little about her. No writings. No opinions. The Supreme Court is no place to just take a chance with someone.

    Richard Green
    San Clemente, Ca.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:26 pm |
  76. Gail, Plano TX

    Jack: I do not know Elena Kagan. Never heard of her. But I trust the President's judgment, as I am nor qualified to judge someone to sit on the Supreme Court. I am amazed that members of Congress who are similarly unqualified, will judge this woman, and vote as to whether she can sit on the highest court in the land. It is a joke, right? Only I am not laughing. Clarence Thomas became a justice after being accused by a very respectable woman of sexual harassment. Now, what's up with that? And the senator from OK is not the brightest bulb in the senate. Actually, this is a travesty of justice.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:27 pm |
  77. Donald in CA

    Kagan might not be liberal enough for me. The republicans seat right wingers on the court, then demand the the liberal democrats seat some one in the middle when they have the pick. The sad part is the democrats usually cave in even when they are in the majority.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  78. Greg H - Minneapolis

    Jack, Elena Kagan is an unqualified person nominated by another unqualified person. Like Obama, she has never held a real job. When it comes to a Supreme Court Justice, we need to have somone who actually IS or WAS a judge for several years! Instead, we get a Solicitor General of less than 1 year who argued a few cases before the Supreme Court. Doesn't sound like someone who knows the law and would render a decision based upon the law, rather than what "feels right!"

    May 11, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
  79. Don (Belleville, Ontario)

    It is difficult to say. Canada has appointed Law School Deans to high courts without their having any practical legal experience, and I don't think any strange results have occurred.
    In many ways, Law School Deans might be a superior choice because they haven't been infected with the greed bug that most successful lawyers have caught.
    Or am I being foolishly naive?

    May 11, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  80. Kevin in CA

    To reference a famous quote "It not knowable". Only time will tell if she is an effective justice and counter to the radical right justices in the Court.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  81. Charlie

    I am not sure any of the supreme court justices are worthy of their jobs. Just look at the job they have done, from the 2000 election to allowing the patriot act to steal our freedoms unconstitutionally. Their job is to uphold the constitutional rights of all americans and keep congress from passing legislation that would impair our freedoms. Elena Kagan is just another strategic move for the president to move his legislation forward, not the peoples will.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:35 pm |
  82. glenn

    Wrong place for on the job training. Become a judge first be on the bench for several years then you my be the person for the job

    May 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  83. Patricia Ebaugh

    Absolutely! She's obviously smarter than anyone in Congress who will be vetting her. What a pity - but I have a hunch they will display their lack of intelligence as they question her. Her ability to be Dean of Harvard Law School by itself should be enough to qualify her. And the remarks made by her cohorts should be more than enough to prove the tremendous asset she will make on the Supreme Court.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:37 pm |
  84. David Gerstenfeld

    Absolutely ! Now is the time for congress to improve their ratings & confirm Kagan quickly & go back to work for a change & put Americans back to work. I, for one, am sick & tired of how much time ( and taxpayer money ) congress spends bickering.
    Davvid, Las Vegas

    May 11, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
  85. Subhash

    New Brooms Sweeep clean !

    May 11, 2010 at 4:42 pm |
  86. steve- virginia beach

    Not even close to being the right choice. Our founding fathers left us extensive explaination of the Constitution. Explaination which is routinely ignored by progresives on both sides of the aisle including our Constitutional Scholar-in-Chief and activist judges. "Relating to the real world", "how laws affect Americans", and "bringing people together". is code talk for ignoring our founder's explainations and continued modification of our Constitution without the mandated passage by Congress and ratification by 2/3 of the states.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  87. JohnNYC

    I think she'll turn out great. Its about time we put someone into public service without knowing who or what they stand for and what they'll actually do once in office. Oops, I forgot about the November 2008 election, great job America. Don't blame me, I didn't vote for them.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:44 pm |
  88. JIM

    She is not the right choice. In a list of qulified candidates, she would be the least qualified.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:45 pm |
  89. Brian Smith Ph.D. San Diego CA

    Lets face it ….. no one can be the prefect judge. We won’t see that until we get to St. Peter’s gate.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  90. Gigi Oregon

    For the reasons the media and OK senator James Inhofe make. I reason that is the best reason to vote for her. Plain and simple. A person of worth and not full of her self. What a shock that would be for the Nation. It's not where you come from that worries me, it's the arrogance that shines through.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  91. Allen L Wenger

    This is what is wrong with our political system. There isn't a single person in the country, who could be selected for this position and not have hundreds of reasons why they should be disqualified. Our politicians (Republican and Democrat) can find data, twist it's meaning, and argue that every American is unqualified for any government office. What a waste of time.

    Mountain Home ID

    May 11, 2010 at 4:49 pm |
  92. Cliff Glass - Rego Park, New York

    As with any Supreme Court justice, only time will only tell.
    To President Obama's credit, I haven't had to run for the high boots and shovel as I did when Presdent George H.W. Bush described Clarence Thomas as "the best qualified person" for a place on the Supreme Court.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:51 pm |
  93. Michael in Phoenix

    I have come to the conclusion that anyone nominated by the government for a position in the government is the wrong person. I believe that the laws should be changed so the supreme court justices are voted for by the people.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:53 pm |
  94. pat in michigan

    I think Mitch Mcconnell said it best when he pointed out that the solicitor general ,"who by the way represents the United states in cases to the Supreme Court" ,has little judicial expertise. Where Do the Republicans find these idiots .?

    May 11, 2010 at 4:56 pm |
  95. Scott Stodden

    Jack I will not be biased and I will admit she lacks judicial experience when it comes to serving as a judge! However, I feel that Elena Kagan has the experience to serve as the next Supreme Court Justice because of her experience as Solicitor General, she served in this position with dignity and pride and even though no she has never been a judge but Hello she attended Princeton and Harvard and she's the Solitior General doesn't that count for something Jack?

    Scott Stodden (Freeport,Illinois)

    May 11, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  96. Ann from Hampton, New Jersey

    I hear she wrote a paper regretting the demise of socialism when she was in college. What kind of a judge would come from that statement? Just because President Obama and her go back a ways does not make her eligible for the highest court. Her experience is totally lacking. I do not want to think of how she would do in that position if she was confirmed.

    May 11, 2010 at 4:59 pm |
  97. steve- virginia beach

    No but what should we expect when we usually don't have a right choice for President?

    May 11, 2010 at 5:02 pm |
  98. David in Raleigh, NC

    Another divisive appointment by President Obama.

    Elena Kagan is leftist liberal who's shown that she's anti-military by her actions at Harvard.

    Obama claims he's the great uniter. As long as he continues to pick these people from the far left, he'll continue to be the great divider.

    If Obama truly wanted to be a uniter and work with the Republicans, he would pick appointees from the center.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:03 pm |
  99. Mark from Voorhees, NJ

    Jack, she apparently has the ability to go toe-to-toe intellectually with Scalia. She reflects the character of the American people more than Allito or Roberts, who reflect the character of the American corporation, She will make an immeasurably better justice than Clarence Thomas, but so would my cat. As for being elitist, would you rather have Joe the Plumber?

    May 11, 2010 at 5:12 pm |
  100. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    She seams like a nice smart lady I guess we will find out if the senate ok's her .

    May 11, 2010 at 5:13 pm |
  101. Thom Richer

    When has it ever made a difference who has been chosen? What i mean is, how could we ever tell one way or the other? We don't know if another was chosen other than those chosen in the past if it made any difference either way. The supreme Court is in my mind just another pretence at justice for all. Just think about the name: "SUPREME Court." Supreme? Give me a break. About as credible as the pope being "infalable." Just another elite means of civil control over the populace while proclaiming it is for the good of all.
    So, yes. Kagan or anyone else is the "right" choice.

    Thom Richer
    Negaunee, MI

    May 11, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  102. Linda

    How can you say in one breath that we don't know enough about her, and then ask in the next if she is the right choice? Let the process run its course. Those who have the responsibility to decide her qualifications will find out what they need to know.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:14 pm |
  103. Kevin - Veteran in Illinois

    I think she is a solid choice for the Supreme Court. I believe that Barack Obama would be a great choice as well when he is out of office in 2016.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:15 pm |
  104. John Berg

    how about judge judy judge mathes judge joe brown judge marlyn millan

    May 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  105. Ralph Spyer

    Obama did not pick Elean Kagan , Abner Mikva did, and their lobby

    May 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  106. Albert K. in Los Angeles, CA

    Jack, I am a lawyer and in my experience there is no conflict in Obama saying he will select Court candidates who can relate to the "real world" and then pick someone with no judicial experience. As for Inhofe, he blows off more hot air than any global warming skeptic in Congress, has a bigoted attitude against gays and wants English to be the official language making him a caveman even for “Oklahoma;” not an English word.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:16 pm |
  107. Corey

    Jack, she doesn't have any judicial experience. Do you know the last judge appointed to this court who didn't have prior experience as a judge? William Rehnquist back in 1972, and he's the fourth longest serving chief justice in Supreme Court history. The fact that she is the incumbent solicitor general and former dean of Harvard Law, the first woman I may add, has to account for something. She's a lesbian, and as a supporter of gay rights, I think justice would be served with a lesbian on the court. I would like to hear a RATIONAL argument against Kagan's nomination, NOT her looks. Because if you want to judge looks, go watch a beauty pageant.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  108. John Gill

    Why not go "outside the box" for a new justice?
    Because she's not a sitting judge is not a reason to disqualify her. Maybe this is exactly what the court needs. A person who hasn't spent years in a lower court. She needs only to know the Constitution and have a brilliant mind. She seems to have both qualities. She would n't be the first to come from outside the sconventional judiciary and certainly won't be the last.
    Is there any Constitutional reason why she can't serve. Has she committed any crime that disqualifies her. NO.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  109. Elizabeth, Toronto Canada

    Is there really a right person for the job Jack?

    May 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  110. A M

    Hell no ! No experience..
    She's anti-military... does not support our troops.. does not allow recriuters on certain campuses ..shame on her !!

    May 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  111. Jeff in Minnesota

    Why not? I think almost everyone that ends up on the Supreme Court has not lived in the world like the rest of us. They have been attorneys and judges which are not your 'average Joe/Jane' type of positions.

    And I just don't get this complaint that she's never been a judge. Big deal. She taught the law and has studied the law extensively, so that is a detriment? I just don't see it. Other great justices weren't judges either, so now they couldn't be on the court? Sounds like a smoke screen to me.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  112. Amir

    She sure is the right person.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  113. barry may

    why U asking me? That's what we pay 100 senators to do

    May 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  114. Jack Beslanwitch

    This person is smart, a consensus builder and knowledgeable of the law. It has been way too long since we have someone on the supreme court that has not been a judge. Some of our greatest supreme court judges were also not judges previously. Also, it means there will be three female supreme court judges on the court, which is not a bad thing. I for one trust President Obama's judgment and believe this is a great choice.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  115. mike m

    Just like when campaigning then candidate Obama promised that significant legislation would be put on the Internet so the public could review it before he signed the bill into law. That has not happened yet??? So the fact that this Supreme Court nominee is from the highest levels of the legal profession is not a shock

    May 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  116. Jim, from Las Vegas

    Axlerod says Obama is open to the changes in Miranda being asked for by Holder. Liberman and others want to strip terror suspects of US Citizenship apparently before a conviction. Kagan, when being confirmed as Solictor General expressed some very conservative stands on how terrorists should be treated and what rights they don't have. Given all this, I think Obama wants another vote on the Court when these cases arrive there. I think she is absolutely the wrong kind of choice and would greatly prefer someone from the ACLU.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:17 pm |
  117. Giorgi

    She is, liberal. But I like her. I'm a New Yorker what can I say

    May 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  118. Michael Casteel - Denver Colorado

    I think it is great that Obama has chosen to nominate a gay person to the Supreme Court. However I think the last thing we need is another Harvard/Yale educated, academic whose views do not reflect or life experience relate to 98% of Americans.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  119. Henry

    NO Jack she is not the right choice!! The reason i love you is because right or wrong i know where you stand. With Kagan there's no paper trail that i can find. Once again we know the right has there people in there,but the left has to guess how this woman is going to rule. Obama pick someone else!! henry, Columbus,ga

    May 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  120. Dave in Northridge

    "comes from a world unknown to most Americans" - as did Justice Sotomayor, but apparently the South Bronx is more real than the Upper West Side? Come on, Jack, you've been living in New York long enough not to make a comment like that.

    Yes, she's the right choice, but only because Hillary Clinton is indispensable as Secretary of State.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  121. David in Scottsdale

    You don't have to have been a judge to be a Justice – there are plenty of distinguished examples that prove the point.

    What you do need to have is a deep understanding of the law, of the Constitution and its many amendments, as well as the role of precedent.
    Having a keen intellect and the ability to express logically and lucidly are key. Kagan qualifies on all counts.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:18 pm |
  122. Brian

    I think that she was randomly picked and she has no experience at all about the job. She would take an awfull lot of time adjusting.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  123. Jim Blevins

    Probably the best argument for her is from Inhofe - he doesn't believe in climate change. The truth must be to opposite of what he thinks. I doubt a personal recommendation from Jesus Christ would change her detractors minds. A person can only do so much in 50 years - what she has done in her 50 years could hardly be improved on for being appointed to the Supreme Court.

    Jim, Craig, CO

    May 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  124. David Allen

    The Supreme Court is the highest court of the country. Elena Kagan may have the right kind of temperament but she hasn't earned the privilege or acquired the experience to be considered for Supreme appointment.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  125. leone

    What is her background got to do with her normination. She has to come from somewhere. The question should be if she is emminently qualified to hold such a lifetime appointment

    May 11, 2010 at 5:19 pm |
  126. Jack - Lancaster, Ohio


    Is anyone in Washington from a minor league college, or a community college, or a junior college...tech school ? I think we need a welder (stick) in the Supreme Court, a read the rules, do the rules kind of person.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  127. jim vicalvi sturgis, mi

    One only has to look at what the person who nominated her and had the same lack of experience has done. Or, should I say, has not done. I believe, Jack, that you had a long list of those things the other night. We, as citizens, don't need another Chicagoland member of the administration. With the past members of Goldman-Sachs the whole administration is riddled with corruption.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  128. Ruth

    Yes!!! We need some brains in government. I'm glad she's not part of the dumbed down crowd

    May 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  129. Gary Lee Las Vegas

    I don;t think we have to worry about Kagan not having any judicial experience. Our leaders in the government have not been arrested for theft, and they do a great job of stealing from the American people.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:20 pm |
  130. Aubrey

    We have enough diversity already in the Supreme Court. I think someone that comes from a higher education is perfectly appropriate.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  131. docb


    She is the choice the President made. Have some small knowledge of her and found her not to be a pushover but Very thoughtful! Anyone that can gain consensus with the behemoth egos at Harvard–should be able to hold the course with the likes of the conservative activists we currently have on the court.

    As to not being on the bench before –we have three that sat on the bench-roberts and thomas and scalis–and they gave us Corporate Personhood!

    Besides she is in excellent company with Justices Black, Rhenquist, Jackson etc! Seems some 40 of the 111 justices have not been on the lower courts through our history!

    May 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  132. nelson solano

    I believe Kagan will make an excellent supreme court justice. More than 35% of Supreme Court justices never were judges, including some chief justices. Her exchange with Supreme Court Justices over the unlimited amount of money corporations can pour into political campaigns, convinces me she is opposed to unchecked purchases of politicians by huge, wealthy corporations. I believe she is on the side of the people, not so much corporations. She will bring balance to that court.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:21 pm |
  133. rocky krokus

    Only time tells if a Supreme Court nominee becomes a good court judge or a court jester like an Alito or Thomas. This is Barak O'Bama nominating someone, not Dubyah. I have respect for the President's pick since he seems to be a pretty good judge of talent. He's a brain himself and is a lot closer to the action than any of the pundits out there. I would say, have some faith and ask her whatever. We all know republicans will say NO, that's nothing new. I would add, I would like to see term limits on Supreme court judges or age based limits. Come on, we're not perfect and there's a lot of problems that have to be solved and they need all their faculties to tackle them.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  134. Nancy M., Tennessee

    Judging whether Elena Kagan is suitable for the court is a hard call. We know so little about this woman because she is neither famous or infamous. She must not be too bad but then again she must not be all that great. She has definitely flown under the radar.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  135. Kenneth Sachs

    No, Elena Kagan should not be confirmed. Being a childless unmarried woman means she is not in touch with most American women. Two, she is in favor of unlimited presidential power. We don't need anoth Alito or Roberts on the High Court. Three, she is in favor of the current Guantanimo situation denying these people any legal rights.

    Diane Wood of the 7th [?] Circuit Court in Chicago would have been a far better choice.

    Minnetonka MN 55345

    May 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  136. Juan

    I rather have her than Alito. Is he alive? Is he praying? Does he have a problem with his neck?
    Juan Las Vegas.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:23 pm |
  137. Don from SF

    Jack, her background and credentials aren't much different from those currently serving on the Supreme Court. You're grasping at straws RE this excellent nominee.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  138. John from San Antonio

    I don't know if she would be the right choice or not. Her lack of judicial experience should be a plus. the constitution was written so that anyone of average intelligence should understand it but a majority sitting on the court, with judicial experience have shown they don't understand it. When they grant rights to a corporation they obviously can't differentiate between animate and inanimate. In addition the Declaration of Independence states that men are endowed with certain unalienable rights by their creator. Corporations are created by man.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  139. Sue

    She will do an excellent job. She has studied the constitution and has a lot going for her.
    Look at Scallia and Roberts. They aren't exactly what they were going to be.
    There have been numerous Judges that haven't had anymore experence than she has. Look at Harriet Myers, she had nothing going for her and almost got on.
    No matter who the President had chosen, the Republicans would not have accepted them.
    They better watch out or the voters will see them as they really are.....
    the party of no, (except for tax cuts for the rich, their Cronies.)

    May 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  140. Valerie

    No. Although her experience is impressive, is she truly the best qualified person for this incredibly important position? Or, is she just another example of obvious self-serving cronyism that is so prevalent in Washington? Where is that change we were told we could believe in???

    May 11, 2010 at 5:25 pm |
  141. Susan from Idaho

    Jack some worry about everything. Not one person who was elected for president the first time had never held the job before either.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  142. Delton Fegter

    I think she will be a great Supreme Court Judge. I dont think it is that tough a job. I think one must be intelligent, honest & non political. If those appointed by Bush can make it, then anyone with an eight grade education should have a chance. Delton, Lincoln Neb.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  143. Linda in Arizona

    No, she's way too far to the right to replace Justice Stevens. Check out her views on the unitary executive and her losing argument in
    Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. But you know Rahmobama- they'll pick anyone they think they can get confirmed. Nothing else matters.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:27 pm |
  144. Erik Stark

    As a recent college graduate, I find the most troubling aspect of this nomination being the Court will be entirely Harvard and Yale law school. While these schools produce great law scholars, I can't agree that only these schools produce people qualified for the Supreme Court. Obama has sought diversity, but how diverse really are his picks? We have people on the Court who were taught by the EXACT SAME professors in law school. Chalk this up as another failed opportunity to do something great. An appointment on the Sumpreme Court is a way for the president to truly change the country, even past his years in ofice. This appointment has status quo written all over it.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  145. Chong Merz

    Of course Elana Kagan is qualified. You don't have to have a heart attack to know about the illness. She is bright and well educated. She had excellent training and She is also Solicitor General, the nation's lawyer. She can be as qualified as any justice that we currentlly have on the supreme court including John Roberts.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  146. Mike Bryant

    Ms. Kagan may be a very smart person, no doubt she falls into the "intellect" category most people who live in the rarified air above the remaining 99% considered "minions" by both government and media, but.......I fear the Court is becomming a "mini-congress", bent on construing existing law into personal policy. Our founding fathers were not idiots and actually had the welfare of the citizens in mind when writing the Constitution. I'm not so sure where the Court is headed, but I can almost guarantee the minority (liberals) will be the only segment of the public served.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  147. Kathie

    The president, congress and supreme court are so out of touch with those they are supposed to be representing that our opinion is pointless. Don't forget the supreme court gave carte blanche to corportate America to run our elections. No appointment should be lifetime–term limits should apply to all!

    May 11, 2010 at 5:28 pm |
  148. Doug - Dallas

    She's the right choice if we want someone on the court with common sense. Our Supreme Court is as elitist as you can get and a person with Kagan's qualifications is sorely needed. Who cares if there's a trail of papers or opinions? Look at what she has done with her life, I'll take her any day over a judge who has sat on the bench for 20 years who's also out of touch with everyday America.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:31 pm |
  149. Charlie

    She's not qualified, nor are any of the others as they all have their president's needs to fulfill and not the peoples will. The supreme court justices should be the highest qualified "patriots" and should be tiredlessly searched for. The qualities of these current justices are not even close to the qualities possessed by the founding fathers, nor do they uphold the value of a american citizen.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:32 pm |
  150. Gigi Oregon

    So she doesn't have a messy background isn't that enough to give her the benefit of the doubt. Or better yet credibility. And look who's pointing fingers against her. That tells me a lot.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  151. Miss Taylor

    Yes, she is the perfect person. Judge Alito and Roberts are right wing racist and if they have their way slavary would return. I am so sick of a court with mostly men. I don't need men making decisions about women lives.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  152. Chad from Los Angeles

    We give too much attention to nominee's personal qualifications. The supreme court decisions are passed as a group, not one judge takes this case or one takes that case. Nominees should be more guaged on how well they will improve the court as a whole.

    Helping the court acheive the best overall representation of the country should be the main goal of the President. Adding another white male con or liberal may not improve the effectiveness of the court even if that white male is the best judge available. Will Kagan complement the court best, time will tell, but I trust Obama's intelligence.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:35 pm |
  153. Dera

    Serving as a judge is not a prerequisite to being nominated to the Supreme Court. Elena Klagan has served as Dean of one of the, if not the greatest law schools in the world. It's more important to really understand law and how it should be applied than it is to serve and in some cases not have a clue. We hear about judicial decisions everyday that don't make a lot of sense and don't have any legal bearings. She's a tough smart lady. Although I would have personally liked to have seen an African American woman nominated, give her a chance. The Harvard Law Review is world renowned. Based upon her affiliation to Harvard I bet she knows her stuff!

    May 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm |
  154. Jim


    She's a terrific choice, a legal scholar with an open mind and no pre-wired agenda. Who cares if she doesn't have bench experience? The other eight have plenty. She's also known as a consensus builder, a skill that this Supreme Court desperately needs.

    Reno, Nevada

    May 11, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  155. Rich McKinney, Texas

    No she isn't a good choice. Jack if you do a Google search on Kagan there are only a handfull of entries about her. that tells me she is noi qualified. If i do a Google search on Jack cafferty i get thousands of results. Your much more qualified on opinions then she is.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:39 pm |
  156. Buddy from Illinois


    Give me a break. Of course Kagan was the right choice. If she is considered out of touch with average Americans because of her education what about the other members of the Supreme Court? Its populated by such average Joe’s as John Roberst – Harvard, Harvard Law; Anthony Scalia – Georgetown, Harvard Law; Samuel Alito – Princeton, Yale Law; Anthony Kennedy – Stanford, London School of Economics, Harvard Law; Ruth Bader Ginsburg – Cornell, Harvard Law and Columbia Law; Clarence Thomas – Holy Cross, Yale Law; Stephen Breyer – Stanford, Oxford, Harvard Law; John Paul Stevens – University of Chicago, Northwestern Law; Sonia Sotomayor – Princeton, Yale Law. I want smart, well educated people on the Supreme Court. Look what happened last time we put a “C” student in a position of authority!

    May 11, 2010 at 5:40 pm |
  157. max max

    Jack, it would have been more FAIR & BALANCED to include the REST OF THE STORY:

    Obama's choice of Kagan, who currently serves as the government's top lawyer before the high court, signals a desire to dodge a major showdown with Republicans, and she drew praise from GOP legal luminaries such as Ted Olson and Ken Starr when Obama named her as solicitor general last year.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  158. Viv from NY

    No matter what your personal views are a good judge puts them aside and makes the right decision for every circumstance. Look she's smart she Obama's choice so she hasn't worn a judges robe she been involved in the legal system for years as a top lawyer. When those on the right have picked judges whose views are very slanted to the right that is not the makings of a good judge. To be in the middle is about right as kagan seems to be.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:42 pm |
  159. José F. Colón

    Education has been left aside in the United States for quite a while now. It seems surprising that anyone would question the capabilities of Elena Kagan because she taught in Harvard. She is no politician. Those are the ones that should be accountable for the mess we live day to day, not Elena Kagan. I believe she is a down to Earth person. As soon as i heard about the nomination I did a search and came through to her e-mail in Harvad School of Law. So, I congratulated her and she e-mailed me back with a nice: "thank you".

    May 11, 2010 at 5:43 pm |
  160. Nancy in Michigan

    There have been 40 other people who have been put on the court without the type of experience you mention.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  161. Mary

    If Kagan produces memos / records from her white house years with the Clintons we may get an idea as to how she will rule.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:45 pm |
  162. José F. Colón

    Education has been left aside in the United States for quite a while now. It seems surprising that anyone would question the capabilities of Elena Kagan because she taught in Harvard. She is no politician. Those are the ones that should be accountable for the mess we live day to day, not Elena Kagan. I believe she is a down to Earth person. As soon as i heard about the nomination I did a search and came through to her e-mail in Harvad School of Law. So, I congratulated her and she e-mailed me back with a nice: "thank you".

    San Juan, Puerto Rico

    May 11, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  163. Allan

    It's like an NFL draft pick, you won't know for sure until at least three years.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  164. Annie, Atlanta

    Since I don't think President Obama is going to stick us with a Roberts or Alito, I'll trust him on this pick, too.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  165. Robert Miller Caldwell ID

    100% "not qualified" from an audience of average listeners. The "never been a sitting judge" label sounds like a complete disqualification - much like disqualifying a chef who never created a goumet meal in his life. But you know...several or our past supreme court justices were "never a sitting judge" in any lower court, including the late Chief Justice Rhenquist. Bottom line, Obama is trying to seat his most liberal candidate before the balance of power in Congress shifts to make her nomination improbable. She may make it...just barely?

    May 11, 2010 at 5:49 pm |
  166. Ken in NC

    Senator James Inhofe says he's concerned about Kagan's lack of judicial experience. I’m concerned about the level of maturity of the Senate so what else is new. She is liked and disliked. If you are willing to be supportive of her then you like her. If you are desiring to be against everything President Obama is supportive of then you would tend to dislike her.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:50 pm |
  167. ann perry

    T hink she will be as good as what we got???Allito,Thomas, Roberts.They don't no nothing but sit there and get a good salary for acting stupid.What have they done for the people.

    May 11, 2010 at 5:51 pm |
  168. Tom Oberly

    Come on, Jack. This arguement by the right stating that Kagan is not qualified to be a Justice since she's never been a judge is ludicrous. You know, and didn't state that at one time the Supreme Court had 8 out of the 9 justices who were never judges and some of the best ever to serve. Now, if you want to get rid of a couple idiots, Scalia and Thomas would be the first to go!

    May 11, 2010 at 5:54 pm |