Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

69 Law School Deans Sign Letter Supporting Kagan Nomination

The White House yesterday released this letter signed by 69 law school deans supporting Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination:

We are writing in support of Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s nomination to become an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. While speaking as individuals and not on behalf of our schools, we write from the unique vantage point of deans at U.S. law schools. From that perspective we observed General Kagan’s work and accomplishments at Harvard. Many of us also know her academic work well. And, in the interest of full disclosure, we should add that some of us are personal friends of the nominee.

Elena Kagan excels along all relevant dimensions desired in a Supreme Court Justice. Her knowledge of law and skills in legal analysis are first-rate. Her writings in constitutional and administrative law are highly respected and widely cited. She is an incisive and astute analyst of law, with a deep understanding of both doctrine and policy. In terms of intelligence and intellectual ability, she is superbly qualified to sit on the United States Supreme Court.

As Dean of the Harvard Law School, General Kagan demonstrated a number of other attributes that could be considered key to serving as an Associate Justice. She was a superb and successful dean, among other reasons, because of her willingness to listen to diverse viewpoints and give them all serious consideration. She revealed a strong and consistent aptitude for forging coalitions that achieved smart and sensible solutions, often in the face of seemingly insoluble conflict. She was, at the same time, able to make decisions and lead when and where decision-making and leadership were essential. This ability to hear opinions from strongly opposed sides and to find resolutions that all can accept, and that even those who disagree can respect, are exactly what we should want in a collegial body like the Court. Elena Kagan has, over the course of her career, consistently exhibited patience, a willingness to listen, and an ability to lead, alongside enormous intelligence. The same qualities that enabled her to unify what some described as a fractious campus will serve the nation, and the Constitution, well.

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Sixty-nine law school deans made up their minds about Kagan with volumes of her writings still under request and being analyzed?

Sixty-nine law school deans agree with Kagan that the Constitution is a "defective" document?

How can these guys teach law when they decide issues with insufficient information and they reject the basic document for all our laws?

Posted by: Woody | Jun 16, 2010 9:02:04 PM

Deans should protect their schools from claims of being partisan by remaining politically agnostic in public. Pity that these 69 are so shortsighted as to subject their institutions to the risk of becoming political pawns in the lead-up to Kagan's hearings.
It worked out so well for them with their lawsuit over the Solomon amendment.

Posted by: Duke | Jun 16, 2010 11:49:50 AM

I'm sure this will receive all the deference it deserves.

Posted by: mike livingston | Jun 16, 2010 3:10:16 AM