I have read and listened to many different people give their take on the choice made by President Obama for the Supreme Court of the United States. And, after listening to both Republicans and Democrats, I realized one thing: this is the perfect choice for WE THE PEOPLE!
Elena Kagan's record speaks for itself. Kagan clerked for Justice Thurgood Marshall, whom Kagan considers a hero and mentor. As a White House aide, Kagan worked on issues such as strengthening hate crimes legislation and civil rights enforcement. As a law school Dean, she worked to ensure a diverse student body and faculty. Recently, Kagan authorized the filing of an amicus brief by the Department of Justice and the Department of Education in a Fifth Circuit case, Fisher v. University of Texas. The brief defends the constitutionality of the University of Texas' affirmative action program. In Lewis v. City of Chicago, Kagan filed a brief supporting African American firefighters (represented by John Payton and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund), who challenged a hiring test used by the City of Chicago under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.
Also, for the six years Kagan was dean, the percentage of African-Americans in the entering
class was 11.6%, while in the previous six years it was 9.3%. During this time, the
average number of black men enrolled in the entering class was 28 and the average
number of black women was 37, compared with 19 and 33, respectively, before Kagan's
deanship. Additionally, during Kagan's deanship, the percentage of Hispanics in the entering class was 6.4%, while it had been 4.6% prior to her becoming dean. The average number of
Hispanic men in the entering class were 20, compared to 14 in the previous six years. The
average number of Hispanic women in the entering class was 19, compared to with 12
before Kagan's deanship.
However, it's not the record of fighting for equal rights that makes her the right choice; it's three other reasons Kagan is the right choice.1. Kagan is what we want all Americans to be. Recently she was criticized for not being in touch with main street America because she went to the top schools in our country. Kathleen Harrington of the Washington Post summed it best by writing:
When did it become a crime to go to the top schools and work for corporate America? I was taught by my mom who was a single mom that education was the key to a great life and to try and go to the best of the best. I thought that this was part of the fabric of the American dream?
...a New York City girl who attended a prep school, Ivy League colleges and law school -- who once barred military recruiters from Harvard's recruitment office and was an adviser to Goldman Sachs -- can't be characterized as anything close to mainstream America.
2. Kagan is being attacked from both the Republicans and the Democrats and that in itself tells me she is the right choice. We have a Court right now that for the most part decides cases by the parties lines in which they relate with the most. Kagan is an independent thinker and thus a wildcard not under the control of a political party.
3. Lastly, Kagan will bring common sense to the law. As an attorney myself I have seen many brilliant lawyers forget to add that one key element when looking at the facts of the case and applying the law. I have no doubt that Kagan will do this just by looking at the decisions she has made thus far.
It is very clear to me that WE THE PEOPLE need someone on the Supreme Court who will be about protecting the Constitution and using common sense in the process. The Constitution is only 4543 words, but we must always remember the words of Chief Justice John Marshall: "We must never forget that it is a constitution we are expounding." With the times we will face legally in our country we need someone like Kagan on the bench for WE THE PEOPLE to have a voice.
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