Is Kagan the Harriet Miers of the Obama Administration?

Glenn Greenwald more or less says yes: a blank slate with unclear qualifications. Over at Volokh, Jonathan Adler gives some reasons why Elena Kagan might end up with a tougher confirmation fight than a clear liberal like Diane Wood would have. Note, however, that Adler’s and Greenwald’s reasons are inconsistent. Adler thinks that Kagan is definitely a liberal and that everyone will go on that assumption, while Greenwald thinks that Kagan could well be a “centrist,” deferential to the executive branch on civil liberties issues.

3 thoughts on “Is Kagan the Harriet Miers of the Obama Administration?

  1. If the only thing that marks her as a “centrist” is her position on civil liberties, then she could be 30 years of hell for those of us who care about both economic and personal liberties.

    But I can’t see how the Dean of Harvard Law School and the current SG can be compared to Harriet Miers – someone who was clearly unqualified for the job.

    And the relevant question is not whether Kagan is the best person for the job from my classical liberal persective but whether she is the best that we could hope for given the other likely alternatives (especially given the number of Dem votes in the Senate). Diane Wood would be far worse, by my guess, as would a number of other likely nominees should Kagan go down in the Senate.

  2. I agree she has more qualifications than Miers. However, I was surprised to see how thin her publication record was: three law review articles. Apparently the tenure standards at HLS are a bit different from those in PhD-granting departments in the social sciences, to put it mildly.

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