Kagan Hearings: GET SHORTY!

July 1, 2010
Guest Post

By Geoffrey R. Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law, the University of Chicago Law School. Professor Stone is a member of the ACS Board of Directors.
Senator: Are you now or have you ever been a legal progressive?
Nominee: What's a "legal progressive"? I'm not sure I know what you mean by that term.
Senator: I take it that's a "yes."
Nominee: No, it's not a "yes."
Senator: Is it a "maybe"?
Nominee: I suppose it's possible.
Senator: Good! You admit it's possible. Well, then, are you now or have you ever been a member of a legal progressive-front organization?
Nominee: I don't know. If you give me an example of such an organization, I can tell you whether I've ever been a member.
Senator: Ha! It's not that easy.
Nominee: So it would appear.
Senator: Have you ever provided material support to any legal progressive-front organization?
Nominee: Sigh.
Senator: Are any of your work associates, neighbors, friends or acquaintances - past, present or future - involved in any way with any legal progressive-front organization?
Nominee: Senator, this is ridiculous.
Senator: Good! Now we're getting somewhere. So, tell me, have you ever read any judicial opinions by Thurgood Marshall, William Douglas, Earl Warren or William Brennan?
Nominee: Of course.
Senator: They were legal progressives, right? Right?
Nominee: If that's what you want to label them.
Senator: Well, then, how would you label them?
Nominee: I'd say they were Justices you don't like very much.
Senator: Ah, ha! Do you know a man called Barack Hussein Obama?
Nominee: I'm proud to say that I do.
Senator: You admit that he's a legal progressive, right?
Nominee: He can speak for himself.
Senator: Did Thurgood Marshall call you "Shorty"?
Nominee: He did. It was a term of affection, at least I hope it was. Certainly, it was descriptive.
Senator: Wasn't it really your secret code name as a legal progressive co-conspirator?
Nominee: Senator, I've never had an alias, and I have no idea what you're talking about.
Senator: I have in my hand a list. . . .

[image via talkradionews]