And Kagan makes nine

The U.S. Senate has finally confirmed Elena Kagan as the newest Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court in a 63-73 vote. [CNN.com]

Five Republicans in the Senate had signaled their intention to vote for Kagan, meaning conservatives didn’t have the strength in numbers to delay the proceedings with a filibuster.

Only one Democrat announced his opposition: Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

"I have heard concerns from Nebraskans regarding Ms. Kagan, and her lack of a judicial record makes it difficult for me to discount the concerns raised by Nebraskans, or to reach a level of comfort that these concerns are unfounded," he said in a statement.

SCOTUSblog discusses what’s next for Kagan in her new job.

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Elena, we hardly knew ye

When Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation hearing start next week, senators will fire up the proverbial grill. But based on 75,000 e-mails sent to and from Kagan in the late 1990s – which last week were released by the Clinton Presidential Library – she has a pretty spicy past. As noted in a compiled story by The Week:

  • Kagan occasionally peppered her e-mails “with salty language,” including “a New Yorkerized version of the word ‘unbelievable’” that added two syllables to it.
  •  She can be sarcastic: In critiquing a colleague’s e-mail, she replied: “Not to carp, but on memos to the president, it’s usually wise to spellcheck.”
  • She isn’t afraid to speak her mind: In an advance draft of Clinton’s 1997 State of the Union address, she clashed with speechwriters over a line that included a quote from Isaiah about being a “repairer of the breach” — a reference to Clinton’s desire for bipartisanship. “That quote from Isaiah is the most preposterously presumptuous line I have ever seen. The president would deserve it if the press really came down on him for this.” The quote stayed in.
  • She was enthusiastic about affirmative action: In one message she noted that presidential race adviser Chris Edley was leaving and lobbied to be put in charge of affirmative action in his place. “I know the issue well (because I teach it) and care about it a lot.”

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Take a bite out of the Kagan Burger, and you’ll get a taste of Obama, too

Politics make strange bedfellows. But it looks like they also make for a tasty sandwich.

Turns out that Mr. Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers, a storied Cambridge, Mass., haunt near Harvard, recently added the Elena Kagan Burger to its menu.

Yet, the $10 burger wasn’t intended to honor the former Harvard Law School dean who’s President Obama’s pick for the Supreme Court. Rather, the move was, in part, a political statement.

“It has a liberal amount of salsa, grilled pineapple, because of the Obama connection — she’s cozy with Barack and he’s from Hawaii — and it comes with onion rings,” general manager Billy Bartley told The Boston Globe.

“I thought the coziness [between] her and Barack was inappropriate, but what do I know? I thought a Supreme Court justice should be further from the president than she is.”

The burger’s menu description shows that the sandwich wasn’t exactly created with love for the nominee. “Experience??? ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell,’” the menu reads, according to The Harvard Crimson. It presumably refers both to the fact that Kagan has never been a judge, and to her stance on the military’s policy on gays.

But Bartley revealed to the Globe another motivation behind the burger, and it’s about as American as it gets: “For the attention, so I can make money.”

Kagan won’t want to be part of this ‘elite’ SCOTUS group

A sex-crazed 62-year-old. A Harvard professor who smoked pot with his students. A close friend to the president. A white supremacist. A three-time loser.

Sounds like the ideal cast for this summer’s edition of “Big Brother,” no?

If only.

Instead, they’re Lucius Q.C. Lamar, Douglas Ginsburg, Harriet Miers, G. Harrold Carswell and Reuben H. Walworth, all past hopefuls for the U.S. Supreme Court who didn’t have luck on their side for the aforementioned reasons, respectively. They’ve made the list of “The 5 Most Disastrous Supreme Court Nominees,” as designated by The Week magazine.

So far, Elena Kagan appears to not be a candidate for the list should it get revised next year. However, despite her being a former dean at Harvard, she’s never been a judge. Ginsburg already has one up on her, as he’s a D.C. Circuit Court judge – albeit, as The Week labeled him, the “highest judge in the land.”

Is SCOTUS seat in Granholm’s future?

As discussed here a few weeks back, much speculation will occur over the remained of this year about the future of Gov. Jennifer Granholm. Since the implosion of the American economy and the election of Barack Obama, she’s been rumored to be a candidate for several positions within his organization or for the U.S. Surpeme Court.

Then Justice John Paul Stevens hinted in the New Yorker that he may retire after this term. If a spot opened up, would Granholm have a shot? Not really, says Lawyers USA:

Long shots

Gov. Jennifer Granholm

Obama has often stated that he’d like to look for Supreme Court candidates from places outside of the federal judiciary (all the current justices are former federal appellate judges).

The Michigan governor, who previously served as attorney general of the state would satisfy that criteria. And like Stevens, Granholm, 51, hails from the Midwest, which would help keep the Court’s geographic balance. But having never faced a Senate confirmation hearing, her odds aren’t as good as those of Kagan, Wood or Garland.

“Kagen” is former Harvard Law dean and current Solicitor General Elena Kagan; “Wood” is U.S. 7th Cir. Court of Appeals judge Diane Wood. Garland; and “Garland” is D.C. Circuit judge Merrick Garland.

According to Lawyers USA, Kagan would likely have the advantage because of her age (49), history (nothing objectionable) and she has already been confirmed for her current position by the Senate.

The article said her lack of federal judiciary experience would be a plus for Granholm, but she’d be less attractive of a candidate because she’s never been through the confirmation process.

Perhaps there was an ulterior motive for the recent written smackdown letter she sent to Michigan attorney general Mike Cox in support of the new health care law. Did she attach her resume?