President Barack Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan on May 10 to occupy the chair that would be soon left vacant by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who announced on April 9 that he would retire at the conclusion of the Court's summer term.
The U.S Supreme Court ruled five to four on June 28 that a University of California law school can refuse to recognize a Christian student group that bars membership to homosexuals. In the case of Christian Legal Society v. Martinez, the Christian student group at the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco had challenged the school’s policy barring it from requiring students to sign a statement of faith that prohibits homosexual behavior and requires a belief in God.
Elena Kagan's responses to the questions put to her by the Senate are worthy of comment since she has been nominated for a significant position. A companion piece to this article will review some of her answers and check them against the standard handed down to us by our noble Founding Fathers — namely, the Constitution of the United States. Apart from that analysis, however, there is the equally compelling question of just whether this whole business of the modern nomination hearing circus was ever anticipated by the Framers or provided for by the provisions of the Constitution itself.
Economist Robert Higgs wrote a paper in 1997 arguing that “regime uncertainty” — “a pervasive uncertainty among investors about the security of their property rights in their capital and its prospective returns” owing to the constant barrage of regulation emanating from the Franklin Roosevelt administration and its bureaucracies — was a significant contributor to prolonging the Great Depression. Investors were skittish about putting their money to work when they didn’t know what new, destructive government policies the next day might bring, so they just sat on all that capital. Without capital investment, the economy ground to a halt.
As a preface to a series of questions about the due process afforded the would-be "Christmas Day bomber" last December 25, Sen. Lindsey Graham, (R- S.C.) asked Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan where she was that Christmas day. After a moment or two of confusion about what precisely he was asking, the Solicitor General replied: "Like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant."