Elena Kagan a Predictable Liberal Pick for Supreme Court

Any Lefties worried that Elena Kagan won't toe the party line can rest easy.

By + More

By John Aloysius Farrell, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

Well, at least she's a woman. She's got that going for her. But any Lefties worried that Elena Kagan won't toe the party line, and be a sound, predictable member of the liberal bloc on the U.S. Supreme Court, can rest easy. Geographic or intellectual innovation do not seem to rank very high when Barack Obama selects his nominees.

Maybe it's unfair to judge Kagan just on her biography, but biography is all we've got. She hasn't been a judge (which could be a point in her favor), and for a legal scholar she has made her name as an adviser and facilitator--not a creative genius. She's a liberal apparatchik, who has made a career--like John Roberts and Sam Alito--of getting her ticket punched in all the right places.

Let's see. Born and raised in Manhattan. Princeton. Harvard Law. Clerk to Thurgood Marshall. Aide to Bill Clinton. Adviser to Joe Biden. Dean of Harvard Law School. Another fine member of the meritocracy. Except for a brief stint at the University of Chicago, her world view has been forged on the banks of the Potomac, the Hudson, the Delaware and the Charles. No hints of the Mississippi, the Brazos, the Colorado, or the Columbia on this resume.

She barely knows how to drive a car, much less a pickup truck.

"What she would do is bring a multifaceted understanding of the executive branch," said William Galston, who preceded her as a domestic policy assistant in the Clinton White House. Oh, good.

What Kagan really is, is 50. With the blessing of good health, she'll be a sound, predictable liberal vote for decades. That is why she's headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Check out this month's best political cartoons.
  • See our slide show of the Supreme Court Justices.
  • Become a political insider: Subscribe to U.S. News Weekly, our digital magazine.