by Max Brantley
Charles Pierce says the choice of Elena Kagin, well, sucks.
She is undeniably brilliant and apparently a gifted administrator. But she is also a demonstrable professional lickspittle with an overall sweet tooth for executive power in general, and a particular one for the power of whichever executive is paying her salary at the moment. What she is not — and what she never will be, all White House spin and the protestations of what blogger Jane Hamsher calls the "veal pen" of professional Beltway liberals aside — is what the Supreme Court desperately at this point needs: a formidable counterweight for the authentically radical judicial activism being practiced by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's functioning right-wing majority, an activism that seeks to roll back every progressive gain achieved in this country back to the turn of the last century.
This is a job that needed another Brennan, another Douglas, another Marshall. Instead, we get a careerist out of the Harvard Law School about whom the worst that can be said by the lunatic Right is that she tossed military recruiters off campus in a brief spasm of principled outrage, that she didn't learn to drive until she was 20, and that she (shhh!) might be, you know, like, gay. And that's the entire bill of particulars mustered up by a political opposition that this president believes we still have to respect.