Monday, May 10, 2010

Opponents Should Be Careful About New SC Nominee Kagan's Lack of Judicial Experience

With famed liberal Justice John Paul Stevens stepping down from the Supreme Court, the Obama administration has been looking far and wide to find what it deems a suitable replacement. For now, the search seems to be over.

The Associated Press reports:
WASHINGTON – Solicitor General Elena Kagan will be nominated Monday to the Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, pushing the former law school dean toward the pinnacle of her profession and positioning the United States to have three women justices for the first time in its history.

Obama will announce his choice at 10 a.m. in the East Room of the White House alongside Vice President Joe Biden. Kagan will also speak. The room will be filled with Kagan's Justice Department colleagues and other guests invited to soak in one of a presidency's biggest moments.
Unknown to most, Kagan is already being closely investigated before her Senate hearing even begins. One major item that is already receiving much attention is Kagan's lack of judicial experience, having never served as judge. Opponents of the nominee would be wise to not make this a major point of contention.

There is no constitutional requirement that a Supreme Court justice have previous experience as a judge prior to joining the Court, and a number of justices throughout our history have lacked said judicial experice. Even in the modern age we have seen similar circumstances.

William Rehnquist, who served as our last chief justice, lacked experience as judge before joining the Court, but he was obviously able to excel at the position. Agree with him or not, he performed the technical aspects of the job quite well and was well respected.

Knowing these things, those who find contention with Kagan as a choice should look to her views of the Constitution, judicial authority, and the like when making their decision, rather than hamper on her lack of judicial experience. If they fail to do so, they show their own ignorance of history and unwillingness to do the heavy lifting in vetting the candidate.