As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Elena Kagan, Obama’s Fundamental Transformer on the Court

It was April Fools Day, 1998, and the Senate Commerce Committee had just voted 19-1 to pass sweeping anti-tobacco legislation. On the dais where senators had just voted and were still milling about, the White House domestic policy advisor steering the bill for Bill Clinton threw her arms around the committee’s Democratic staff director as the two celebrated an historic victory for health, for the children, and for the latest incursion by the government into the private sector.

The Clinton advisor was 37-year-old Elena Kagan, a passionate, brilliant advocate for her boss’s liberal social policies. I was there that day covering the proceedings as both the White House and tobacco legislation reporter for my publication, CongressDaily. It was unusual to see such open, public emotion by staffers.

The bill would ultimate fail on the Senate floor. Some of my sources told me they felt it was pushed too far to the left by Kagan. I can’t say for sure if it’s true.

What I can say is that when President Obama appointed her to the Supreme Court in 2010, he had it on good word from the Washington Democratic establishment that he was elevating someone committed not just to this or that legal principle, but to the Democratic policy agenda.

Kagan Obama

Kagan had never ruled in a case before, because she has never served as a judge, a highly unusual thing for a Supreme Court pick. Before Obama made her solicitor general in 2009, she’d never in her professional career argued a case in court. Any court. She’d pretty much either worked for Clinton or been in academia.

Most practicing attorneys and judges must learn to put their own feelings in check as they serve clients or try to fairly administer the law. Kagan had none of this experience. What she had were opinions. Liberal opinions.

And that, apparently, is what Obama wanted, and what he got. Kagan, according to SCOTUSblog, has voted the most frequently of all Justices with Ruth Bader Ginsburg – 94 percent of the time as of June 2014.

So I wasn’t the least bit surprised to read that during oral arguments Wednesday over the latest Obamacare challenge, Kagan expressed her annoyance with the whole thing. A “never-ending saga,” she said wearily and derisively of the Obamacare cases.

Kagan may well have a fine legal mind. But she is also steeped in an ideology extraneous to the law. Unlike Republican presidents, who have been unpleasantly surprised by the thinking of their Supreme Court picks, there will be no regrets for Obama. He chose her because she had a lot of a ideology and far fewer qualifications, just like he did when he became president.

With Kagan now just 54 years old, America will for many years to come have to endure another predictably liberal Justice.

But not just any other liberal Justice. She’s smart and agressive, and is viewed as the next great driver of liberal opinion on the Court. Maybe even Chief Justice one day. All the while dedicated to enshrining from within the judicial branch Obama’s dream of fundamentally transforming America.

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15 Responses to Elena Kagan, Obama’s Fundamental Transformer on the Court

  1. This is why I support term limits for the Supreme Court justices.
    Ten years should be sufficient.

    Lifetime appointments on the bench should be amended in the Constitution and the election process should be used to select the high court judges as opposed to a president that appoints them according to their ideology.

    The president does not appoint the Speaker of the House, nor the members of the Senate.

    The president is restricted to term limits and the Supreme Court justices should be also.

    Term limits also need to be imposed on congress.
    Two terms is enough, not the 30 years that these people spend in the halls of the capitol.

    Supreme Court, 10 years.
    Senate, 2 terms (12) years.
    House, 3 terms (6) years.

    That way we don’t have to beat ourselves to death to try to get them out of there.

    They will know that they have a limited time and not the eternity that they enjoy now, and will have to go back into the environment that they created.

    A pension is OK but no salary for the rest of your life.
    Get a job.

  2. a hard-left ideologue with no relevant experience? sounds like the perfect Supreme Court justice for the Obama administration.

    • Kagan and Barry go way, way back to the University of Chicago where Kagan tried to get Barry to become a full time college perfesser. He declined. Shame she didn’t succeed.

  3. […] Justices such as Elena Kagan aren’t outliers; they are the heart of our federal justice system, one that sees these black-robed figures honestly believing that, rather than being bounded by the Constitution, their robes give them a conduit to absolute truth — and isn’t it funny how often absolute truth invariably mimics the Democrat party’s platform and wish list. […]

  4. Lobbying against Elena Kagan was one of the most frustrating experiences of my life and of my like-minded friends! Petitions, letters, and phone calls of my own along with about a dozen others did little to educate the Judiciary Cmte or the Senators that Kagan is and always has been a left-leaning socialist! She is a staunch supporter of abortion, plus as you mentioned never argued a case in a court!

    What a disappointment when she was confirmed!

    My concern is about Ginsburg’s age. If she retires BHO will have another chance to pack the SCOTUS ~ which eventually will become obsolete with the Executive Branch taking over the Congress and, just as worrisome, with the confirmation of another progressive ~ Loretta Lynch as DOJ Attorney General!

    NOBODY, except the aides in the offices, is listening! Many of my friends and I are discouraged! We cannot out-lobby the entrenched progressive socialists! We’re just ordinary citizens whose voices are being more and more silenced by WH policies and special interests and elected leaders who are choosing everyday NOT to lead!

    If it were not for AFVet’s comments from another post about ‘never giving up’ we would all lose heart! jb

  5. The two women put on SCOTUS are really IED’s that will torpedo freedom and anything the progs want in the future. Another group of IED judges was planted in the D.C. circuit court when Reid nuked the filibusterer rules. This court hears fed govt issues that will help libs/progs implement their agenda on the entire nation.