Non-judge Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court

President Obama has nominated a lawyer with no judicial experience to the Supreme Court:
NBC: Obama to name Kagan for high court
1st female solicitor general served as White House adviser under Clinton

Kagan would be the first justice without judicial experience in almost 40 years. All of the three other finalists she beat out for the job are federal appeals court judges, and all nine of the current justices served on the federal bench before being elevated. The last two justices who had not been judges, William Rehnquist and Lewis Powell, joined the Supreme Court in 1972.

William Jacobsen finds a supreme irony in the nomination: Supreme Irony – Kagan Nomination Ends Gay Marriage Hopes

But on one issue of critical importance to the left — the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, Kagan has staked out a very clear and unequivocal position: There is no constitutional right to same-sex marriage.

In the course of her nomination for Solicitor General, Kagan filled out questionnaires on a variety of issues. While she bobbed and weaved on many issues, with standard invocations of the need to follow precedent and enforce presumptively valid statutes, on the issue of same-sex marriage Kagan was unequivocal.

This doesn’t mean that Kagan opposes gay marriage. But she clearly believes it is a matter for the political process, not a constitutional right.

While it is not clear what view the other Justices have, it is likely that a Kagan on the Court will put an end to any ultimate chance of success in the federal lawsuit lawsuit filed by David Boies and Ted Olson to have California Prop. 8 declared unconstitutional.

Reasonably assuming the four conservative judges share Kagan’s view, there now will be a definite majority on the Court against recognizing a constitutional right to gay marriage.

The Washington Post touts her lack of judicial experiece, saying Elena Kagan never let lack of experience hold her back. Hail the SCOTUS bureaucrat:

“She knows government, and she knows how to run institutions.”

UPDATE
SCOTUS blog has 9750 Words on Elena Kagan
More than you ever wanted to know
, via TigerHawk

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