Monday, May 10, 2010

The case against Elena Kagan

As Glenn Greenwald asks in his piece for, "If progressives aren't willing to fight Obama for the Supreme Court, what are they willing to fight him for?"

The most generous critique of the Kagan nomination is that Obama has squandered an opportunity to strengthen progressive jurisprudence on the Court. A more realistic critique is that Kagan's nomination directly assails progressive jurisprudential and political principles across a range of policy and constitutional arenas. Greenwald and others have explained Kagan's problematic record of support for expansive executive power, a derangement of the constitutional order. They have also sounded necessary alarms about her willingness to subordinate civil liberties to the "war on terror."

Kagan's willingness to make problematic adjustments to civil rights and liberties are not limited to the national security arena. As a domestic policy advisor in the Clinton White House, she collaborated in the most heinous social policy decision of the 20th Century: punitive welfare reform. Welfare reform embraced Blue Dog and Rehnquist-style fiscal retrenchment and federalist devolution. But it was worse even that that: 1990s welfare reform culminated a race-coded war against poor women with children by imposing inequality on them. At bottom, welfare reform demanded that low-income mothers trade constitutional liberty and equal citizenship for economic security; and it so disdained low-income mothers as mothers that it set in motion a series of policy conditions that undermine low-income single mothers to remain single or to be mothers if they do.

I hope progressives will finally resist the triangulating, difference-splitting, and play-faking we have suffered, mostly in silence, in the name of Change.

See The case against Elena Kagan - Glenn Greenwald -

No comments: