In the "defense" of this nominee, MMFA - an unapologetically liberal website - goes to great lengths to dispell the Right Wing "myth" that Kagan represents a far-left, radical position. And they do a good job of dispelling this. They show, very clearly, that either the conservatives are just flat-out lying, or that their fears are vastly overblown. They show that this is a nominee that is not necessarily hostile to the institution they hold dear.
And therein lies the PROBLEM. Personally I'd like to see a nominee that's a little hostile to religion as a political force. Who IS a bit skeptical of the Military's ability to do anything other than fight wars (IOW: blow shit up and kill people) and who sees WAR as a last resort, rather than the preffered choice in dealing with foreign policy. When you look at Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito and recognize the absolute rubber-stampt they represent to the Right, only the starkest possible contrast should suffice to replace the retiring Stevens. I myself found Judge Diana Wood to be an interesting choice. But instead we get Kagan.
Now... don't get me wrong. Personaly I think that statements such as "she'll move the court to the right" are ludicrious. The President nominated the former Dean of Harvard Law School, for Pete's sake, not Phyllius Schlafly. And I'll be the first to admit that I don't know NEARLY enough about Kagan, or Wood for that matter, to make a truly eductaed assessment of their potential impact. My biggest complaint about Kagan really come from what I think I know about her views on executive power. But then I have to realize that my understanding of her positions come from what she did in her role as SOLICITOR GENERAL - where it was her JOB to advocate for the executive branch. Hardly a position where one's libertarian viewpoint would get center stage. One could almost argue that fomrer solicitor generals - people who built their resume defending the government's position - should be made inelligible for a SC nomination... But then we'd never have had Thurgood Marshall!
And, going back to my previous post on Wood, I don't necessarily see Kagan VOTING very differently than Justice Stevens did. And this statement has been made repeatedly by her critcis and supporters alike. But to me the real question is not how she'd VOTE (which I don't think is really in question) but rather whether she would advocate for the liberal position, and how effectively she would do so. I liked Wood's politics well enough, but I what I really liked was what I read about her ability to pursuade those who would be inclined to disagree with her. I saw this as a sign that she could influence Justice Kennedy, and gets some WINS for the Left. I've read the same thing about Kagan - and as a lawyer, influencing people is waht she DOES - but I just don't know enough about her to know just how OFTEN and on WHAT ISSUES she's USE those powers of pursuation. (PFAM is not much help in this department - they have a lot to say about the Roberts Court, but little one way or the other about Kagan herself.)
Now... I do NOT, as my friend ClassicLiberal has proposed, belive that the Kagan nomination is somehow grounds for (figurative) impeachment. But I am disappointed that Kagan got the call over more liberal cadidates. I would have strongly preferred Wood...