Elena Kagan was nominated to the Supreme Court in part, President Obama tells us, because he hopes that she can use her intellectual and persuasive powers to become a “consensus-builder.” But if Kagan is hoping to win friends on the court, Arlen Specter isn’t helping her cause by blabbing about their closed-door conversations to the press today.
In Specter’s meeting with Kagan, he said the nominee stood by earlier statements she’d made criticizing the confirmation process because nominees were not very forthcoming. “She stood by the word ‘charade.’ And she identified a specific justice who she thought was not appropriate in responses,” he said.
Specter would not identify which justice Kagan called out, but said it was a current member of the court.
Reuters adds that Specter specified that it wasn’t Chief Justice John Roberts. So who was it? Samuel Alito? Sonia Sotomayor? Someone older? Practically everyone is a suspect, since Supreme Court nominees have been trained to be “not very forthcoming” if they want to be confirmed. Regardless, Kagan had already put herself on the spot for previously criticizing the lack of substantive testimony in Supreme Court confirmation hearings. Now that she’s still hammering away at it and even pointing fingers at sitting justices, she’d better be ready to sing.
Specter meets Kagan; no support yet [First Read/MSNBC]