I’m running out to tape a long radio interview about Guantanamo Bay — oh, hi, good morning to you there — and in that frame of mind I wrote nearly 900 words for the Washington Independent on Elena Kagan’s looming contributions to the forthcoming legal battle over terrorism detentions and executions. Skip to the end:
Senior Obama aides have said they seek to create a “sustainable approach” on questions like terrorism detention authority that can claim a consensus within Congress and the courts that can last beyond the Obama administration’s term in office. That’s why the administration has disappointed civil libertarians on the issue so greatly. By nominating Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, Obama stands a better chance of winning judicial affirmation to whatever system he’s building with Graham. If Kagan doesn’t look like a new Stevens, it may be that the second coming of John Paul Stevens would stand sharply in the way of Obama’s desired “sustainable approach” to the intersection of national security and the law.
A shorter version of this would have just read, “What Glenn said.” This is what I’ll be listening for at Kagan’s confirmation hearings. Glenn just re-tweeted Ed Henry that “clearly” a White House consideration behind the pick is that a “key White House adviser surveying the Hill predicts Kagan ‘will get through without much pain I think.’” An unexplored aspect of that strategy: confusing Senate Republicans that she’s related to the Fred/Kim/Bob/Don Kagan dynasty.
OK, I’ll be back around 11-something. Oh, right before I go, Adam Serwer has this counterweight to my entire Kagan point that’s worth reading.