Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) has decided to support Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination, writing in a US Today editorial Thursday morning that she has done "just enough to win my vote."
In the editorial, Specter commends Kagan for having "impressive legal mind, a ready humor and a collegial temperament suitable to the court," but spends the majority of the time harping on the fact that she managed to evade much of the more substantive discussion about how she would vote as a judge. Specter complained about this issue during the hearings as well, but apparently wasn't so much surprised by Kagan's actions as he was frustrated.
"It may be understandable that she said little after White House coaching and the continuing success of stonewalling nominees. But it is regrettable," Specter wrote. "Some indication of her judicial philosophy may be gleaned by her self-classification as a 'progressive' and her acknowledged admiration for Justice Thurgood Marshall. That suggests she would uphold congressional fact-finding resulting in remedial legislation and protect individual rights in the congressional-executive battles."
Left with so few determinants, Specter explains his vote as a function of a character assessment, his support of her former colleagues, and Kagan's answers about increasing the visibility and transparency of Supreme Court proceedings by televising them to the public.
"In addition to her intellect, academic and professional qualifications, Kagan did just enough to win my vote by her answers that television would be good for the country and the court, and by identifying Justice Marshall as her role model," Specter wrote.
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