Wednesday, June 30, 2010
“Like all Jews, I was probably at a Chinese restaurant.”
That was Elena Kagan yesterday at her confirmation hearings when asked where she was on Christmas day when a would-be terrorist was trying to blow up a plane over Detroit. (For more great quotes, see AboveTheLaw here).
Today is day 3. It's tough to watch the Senators drone on, but Kagan is doing a nice job. She's witty and professorial. It's interesting to compare her to Roberts, Alito, and Sotomayor. Kagan is certainly Roberts' equal, although they have very different styles. Roberts came across as the quintessential appellate judge, while Kagan is the professor. Both get A's for their performances. Alito and Sotomayor also had similar performances but again much different styles.
The hearings seem to try and get candidates to explain how they will judge or what they think judging entails. Of course, the nominees try not to answer these questions. But you get a sense of the person by how they answer the questions. Kagan (like Roberts) comes across as bright, witty, and engaging -- and certainly qualified.