Nominated by a president whose party controls both houses of Congress, the confirmation hearings of Solicitor General Elena Kagan for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court are largely a formality.
Nonetheless, the nominee's well-coached insistence on bland non-answers is so exasperating that she might as well have placed a video monitor on the witness table, programmed to respond to each question: "I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring ..." and, of course, to "use resources wisely."
This is unfortunate, since -- while the hearings have been bland -- Ms. Kagan is not, and the American people deserve to know more about the characters to whom President Obama is offering a lifetime seat on the nation's highest court.
When the hearings began, ranking Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions offered a devastating opening statement -- though it received little press coverage -- "documenting Kagan's extreme liberalism," reports Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center.
"He ran through her college thesis that worried about socialism's demise, and her master's thesis praising the activism of the Earl Warren court. He noted how she worked for the Michael Dukakis for President campaign, and took a leave as a law school professor to help Joe Biden get liberal Justice Ruth Ginsburg confirmed."
Yet the East Coast media report that a search to determine her political leanings has proved "elusive"?
Ms. Kagan's statement in her signed brief for the animal cruelty case U.S. v. Stevens that, "Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs," was and is, as Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in rejecting the argument for the high court, "startling and dangerous."
On Second Amendment rights, Curt Levy, executive director of the Committee for Justice, reported after reviewing the Clinton Library's release of Elena Kagan documents last week: "When it comes to firearms, Elena Kagan's liberal bias stands out again and again throughout the documents. The Second Amendment consistently plays second fiddle to gun control in Kagan's analysis. ... "
Why have the national media provided such minimal coverage of these well-established Kagan positions, while they work themselves into a frenzy asking "gotcha" questions in attempts to discredit such conservative women as Sarah Palin of Alaska and Nevada's own Sharron Angle?
A Kagan court would enforce few limits to a government-imposed nanny state.
The nominee was asked by Sen. Tom Coburn, "If I wanted to sponsor a bill and it said Americans, you have to eat three vegetables and three fruits every day and I got it through Congress and that's now the law of the land, got to do it, does that violate the commerce clause?"
Ms. Kagan ducked the question, of course, which is whether she as a justice would find such a law justified under the commerce clause. She later rallied to say such an edict might be disallowed if it didn't deal with "economic activity." But of course requiring every American to eat an apple a day could be justified as benefiting the apple growers -- just as ObamaCare is now justified (albeit fraudulently) as a means to "reduce the collective costs of health care."
The plain point is that a Justice Kagan would enforce hardly any limits on federal meddling in our lives.