Some on the left aren’t ecstatic with the idea of Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court, and on the right, John Yoo, the Bush administrator who authored the so-called “torture memos,” has authored his own objections to her, in a New York Times op-ed that ran last month. Why doesn’t John Yoo heart Elena Kagan? As thin as her record may be, there’s enough for a conservative not to like—she stood her ground against the U.S. military in protesting the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy by keeping military recruiters off of Harvard Law School’s campus; she’s been critical of Guantanamo Bay and went after Congress for writing a bill that would strip courts of their authority to review detention practices; Kagan’s self-professed “legal hero” is Thurgood Marshall, the original lion of the left on the Supreme Court. But most significantly to a legal scholar like Yoo, it’s Kagan’s undeserved reputation—because as a nominee who has never served as a judge, how can we ever really know?—as a defender of executive powers and her true feelings, which Yoo claims to have gleaned through a review of her academic musings. Yesterday we looked at some liberals’ uneasiness over Kagan and today we take up the conservatives’ beef with Kagan.
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