Kagan: My Job Is Little Different from When I Was the Solicitor General Arguing for Obama’s Priorities
This is a video clip from an interview with Elena Kagan, with an interesting quote that reveals something about her partisan mindset on the court. The clip comes via CNS News, which sets it up this way:
Describing her move from serving as President Barack Obama’s solicitor general to serving on the Supreme Court, Justice Elena Kagan said last week that “sometimes I think that the job doesn’t really change at all.”
As solicitor general, Kagan’s job was to advocate the Obama administration’s position in cases brought to the Supreme Court. As a justice, Kagan’s job is to judge cases brought to the Supreme Court.
The clip is below, and here is the relevant quote:
“So, sometimes I think that the job doesn’t really change at all–that as solicitor general my life was spent trying to persuade 9 people and now it’s just trying to persuade 8 people,” said Kagan.
I can’t embed the video because (annoyingly) it starts automatically. View it here.
The quote gets a laugh from the audience, but the implications aren’t very humorous. When I have seen Deputy District Attorneys become bench officers, they typically do not see the bench as an extension of their previous life as an advocate. While you do see the occasional “D.A. in a robe” — as well as some who bend over backwards to favor the defense — the best take on the role of a neutral umpire, and take that role seriously. They would never say: “I used to try to put the bad guys away. Now it’s no different, except that I actually have the power to do it.”
In other words, good judges don’t say: I used to be an advocate, and now I’m the same advocate, except now I have a black robe.
But that’s how I hear Kagan’s comment. Maybe she goes on to explain that the role of a judge is very different from that of an advocate — and if that happened, then we have been deceived by a deceptive video edit. But if she doesn’t, it sounds like she sees being a Supreme Court Justice as one vote for the Obama Administration’s priorities. Just four more to go!
This is the kind of judge Barack Obama appoints. If you re-elect him, we will get more.
P.S. At least she doesn’t eat dogs. (Sudden change to a flat, level stare.) That we know of.