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Fiorina on Kagan: She's not an insider

Carly Fiorina isn't a U.S. senator, but she played one in announcing that she wouldn't vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. It's admirable that she went on the record, but her explanation of her opposition is, well, paradoxical.

Is Kagan too liberal, as some of Fiorina's fellow Republicans allege? Don't ask Fiorina. The reason for her opposition is ... Kagan was never a judge.

Here's the quote:

“The confirmation process revealed that she has many admirable qualities – an ability to solve problems, an energetic mind and an enthusiasm for her colleagues and her work – all of which qualify her to serve as solicitor general, the dean of a law school or even as a legislator. However, the process also underscored her lack of experience as a jurist, which in my mind is a key element in determining whether or not a nominee is qualified to serve as a member of the Supreme Court."

In other words, Kagan is an outsider -- but wait, Carly, isn't that supposed to be a good thing?

-- Michael McGough


Comments () | Archives (10)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Mitchell Young

Seriously? You're proposing that, hypothetically, the Superior Court Judge of Maricopa county would be more of an insider than the Dean of Harvard Law and a former Prof. at U of Chicago ( the place where the President had his 8 year sinecure) ? Being a judge, no matter where, trumps all else in terms of being an insider?

Jon Healey

@Mitchell -- No, that's not what Mike's saying. His point is simply that Fiorina is arguing *for* experience in Supreme Court nominees but *against* experience for Senate candidates. If you applied Fiorina's rationale for opposing Kagan to Fiorina's candidacy, you'd be urging Californians to vote for Boxer.

If you want to quibble with Mike, feel free to contrast the value of judicial experience for a judge with the value of legislative experience for a senator. :-)


Your argument works for me, Fiorina. All the more reason for my 100% without-a-doubt decision NOT to vote for you (besides the fact that you are one nasty, vile waste of human space)!


I don't understand why never having been a judge is not a major issue in all of this. I don't see why that wouldn't be a prerequisite to be considered. But apparently William Rehnquist (sic) was never a judge, and most lawmakers don't seem to think it's a big deal. I don't get it.


John Marshall, William Rehnquist, Louis Brandeis, Earl Warren, William O. Douglas, Harlan Fiske Stone, Robert Jackson, Felix Frankfurter, Joseph Story and Roger Taney.

Supreme Court Justices who never served as judges. Many stand as amongst the greatest Justices ever to serve on the Supreme Court.

And, Ms. Fiorina, exactly, in one word or less, which court would you prefer your justice candidates to hail from? Criminal? Civil? Bankruptcy? Federal Appeals?

Mitchell Young

Fair enough, Jon, but there is a lot of 'slippage' (I think that's what rhetoricians call it) between 'judge' and 'insider'.
"besides the fact that you are one nasty, vile waste of human space"

And they say that we conservatives are filled with rage.

Paul Espinoza

And Fiorina was truly never a CEO. And there's a lot of proof in that statement!

pasadena jag

You don't even have to be a lawyer to serve on the Supreme Court. This woman should change her name. I keep thinking of a hot cereal when they mention her name.

Scott Mollett

Barbara Boxer is a tireless worker for Israel. Elena Kagan is another tireless worker for Israel.

The USA needs tireless workers for the USA.

Michael McGough

The Fiorina campaign thinks I didn't give the full picture of the candidate's opposition to Kagan. I stand by my story, but here's her whole statement:




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The Opinion L.A. blog is the work of Los Angeles Times Editorial Board membersNicholas Goldberg, Robert Greene, Carla Hall, Jon Healey, Sandra Hernandez, Karin Klein, Michael McGough, Jim Newton and Dan Turner. Columnists Patt Morrison and Doyle McManus also write for the blog, as do Letters editor Paul Thornton, copy chief Paul Whitefield and senior web producer Alexandra Le Tellier.

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