Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Is Kagan a Closed Book?

I don't know much about Elena Kagan yet, but I intend to read as much as I can in the coming weeks. So far, the general consensus seems to be that she's suspiciously uncontroversial.

In his column today, David Brooks argues that Kagan has never taken any real 'intellectual risks' in the course of her legal career. She has cautiously -- strategically -- hidden her feelings from the public. (Andrew Sullivan follows up and makes similar comments here.)

While it's certainly fair to wonder about Kagan's stance on important issues and to speculate about these kinds of things, it strikes me as a little cynical to assume that she's been deliberately concealing her views all this time.

Isn't it possible that Kagan is just one of those rare individuals who is able to see many sides of an issue? Because, if that's the case, she's exactly the kind of person that I would want on the Supreme Court.

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