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Elena Kagan Leaves Criticism At The Door During Confirmation Hearing

Publication Date: 
July 02, 2010
Josh Gerstein and Manu Raju

Professor Pam Karlan, who teaches the Supreme Court Litigation Clinic, is quoted in Politico on Elena Kagan’s strategic evasiveness during the Supreme Court confirmation process:

Once a harsh critic of the Senate confirmation process, Elena Kagan proved herself right.

After trashing it as a “vapid and hollow charade” in a 1995 article, Kagan the Supreme Court nominee did little, if anything, during her confirmation hearings to cure the ills Kagan the critic diagnosed 15 years ago, according to critics.

Her performance before the Judiciary Committee last week, analysts said, was studiously effective in setting herself up to reach the Supreme Court but singularly lacking in shedding any light on her views.


“It’s the difference between being the theologian and being the martyr: One of them understands the fire,” said Pam Karlan, a professor at Stanford Law School. “She’s a very smart and very savvy person, and there was absolutely no advantage to her answering any questions with a degree of specificity on substantive issues.”