Kagan's sexuality is a distraction
Finding out whether Elena Kagan is a gay or straight won't tell us whether she's fit for the Supreme Court, says Joan Vennochi in The Boston Globe. But that's not why people are asking
If Elena Kagan is confirmed as the next new justice on the Supreme Court, says Joan Vennochi in The Boston Globe, she'll be in a position of awesome power. Yet, judging by the media coverage of her nomination, people don't seem too curious about her legal philosophy on the separation of powers, or civil liberties in a time of war. Kagan is a "single career woman with short hair," so, of course, all anyone wants to know is whether she's a lesbian. Some people justify the questions by insisting "sexual preference affects a jurist’s objectivity." The truth is we'll never know what kind of justice Kagan will make until we start asking "tough questions," instead of gossiping about the sexual implications of photos showing Kagan playing softball. An excerpt:
"Grill Kagan on her connections to the real world, which, by the way, are as tenuous for her as they are for most of the country’s ruling elite, liberal and conservative. Ask her to explain her thinking on matters of executive authority.
But, stay out of the private issue of sexuality. And please, don’t use softball as a metaphor for homosexual life.
The political forces seeking to derail Kagan are doing so by making sexual preference part of the conversation.
That’s the true reason for the intense focus on Kagan’s decision as dean of Harvard Law School to stop on-campus military recruitment because of the 'Don’t Ask, Don't Tell' policy. It’s a way to hide the smirking behind the charge that she is 'anti-military.'"