Kagan vs Miers (vs Estrada)
[Guest post by DRJ]
Which Supreme Court nominee has the most diverse experience?
October 2005 — Harriet Miers:
“Ms. Miers was the first woman to become a partner at a major Texas law firm and the first woman to be president of the State Bar of Texas. In 1995, Mr. Bush, then governor of Texas, named her chairwoman of the Texas Lottery Commission and gave her the task of cleaning up that scandal-plagued agency.
Ms. Miers has also served Mr. Bush in the posts of assistant to the president, staff secretary and as deputy chief of staff. Previously, she had been president of a Texas law firm, Locke, Purnell, Rain & Harrell, and when it merged with another Texas firm to become Locke Liddell & Sapp, she became its co-managing partner.
She was the first woman elected as president of the Texas bar in 1992, and the first female to be president of the Dallas Bar Association in 1985. Ms. Miers, who received her bachelor’s and law degrees from Southern Methodist University, was also an at-large member of the Dallas City Council.”
May 2010 — Elena Kagan:
“BLITZER: … at all the various judges out there, and you decided this time you didn’t want a judge?
AXELROD: Well, first of all, Wolf, that’s not the breadth of her experience. In fact, she’s probably got more diverse experience than — than most of the appointees that we’ve seen. She’s worked in all branches of government. She clerked for a very distinguished appellate court judge. She clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall, a — a legend on the Supreme Court.
She’s represented the United States of America before the Supreme Court for the last 15 months. And, you know, she’s referred to — the solicitor general is referred to as the tenth justice, because they spend so much time working with the court. So she’s well qualified. And I think you’ll have a hard time find observers of the court and legal scholars who would argue otherwise.”
Robert Gibbs has a hard time understanding any Kagan-Miers analogy. When it comes to experience, so do I.
UPDATE BY PATTERICO: You know who Kagan reminds me of a little, in terms of qualifications and experience? Miguel Estrada.
Ivy League undergradate work with honors, Harvard Law school with a position on the law review, clerk at the U.S. Court of Appeals, and clerk at the Supreme Court. Big law firm experience and work at the Solicitor General’s Office.
Sure, there are differences. Kagan is the Solicitor General; Estrada was the Assistant to the Solicitor General. Kagan was a big law firm associate; Estrada was a partner. But the background is quite similar.
I think Republicans should ask Kagan the same questions — and demand from her the same sort of documents — that were asked of and demanded from Estrada. Compare her responses and answers to his — and if they are at all similar, raise holy hell on that basis.
They probably can’t defeat her, but they could have some fun in the process.
UPDATE BY DRJ: The Washington Post is collecting links to Kagan’s writings and other statements.