5 Things to Watch During Kagan's Confirmation Hearings

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1. Will She Answer Questions?

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Then-University of Chicago Assistant Professor of Law Kagan wrote a 1995 law review article in which she lamented the "vapid and hollow charade" that confirmation hearings became after Robert Bork's failed 1987 nomination. Since then, nominees have dodged substantive questions about their view of the Constitution. Kagan argued that rather than cooperating with this string of stealth nominees, senators should press them on judicial philosophy. So is Kagan willing to risk a seat on the high court in service of that principle? The high court is too potent an institution to vest its powers in a series of justices whose greatest asset is their dogged opacity. If Kagan can successfully engage the senators in a philosophical chess match rather than a Kabuki charade, it could positively alter the tone of future confirmations.

Next: 2. The Experience Issue


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