After the panic, we should ponder what we're losing.
May 10, 2010.
President Barack Obama nominated Elena Kagan to replace John Paul Stevens on the United States Supreme Court. In his remarks, he said this:
But while Elena had a brilliant career in academia, her passion for the law is anything but academic. She has often referred to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, for whom she clerked, as her hero. I understand that he reciprocated by calling her “Shorty.” (Laughter.) Nonetheless, she credits him with reminding her that, as she put it, “behind law there are stories -- stories of people’s lives as shaped by the law, stories of people’s lives as might be changed by the law…”And:
That understanding of law, not as an intellectual exercise or words on a page, but as it affects the lives of ordinary people, has animated every step of Elena’s career -- including her service as Solicitor General today.
I think that says a great deal not just about Elena’s tenacity, but about her commitment to serving the American people. I think it says a great deal about her commitment to protect our fundamental rights, because in a democracy, powerful interests must not be allowed to drown out the voices of ordinary citizens.And at her confirmation on August 6, he said:
And it is yet another example of how our union has become more, not less, perfect over time -- more open, more fair, more free. That’s not just a matter of accident or chance. While those founding truths about liberty and equality may have been self-evident, they are not self-perpetuating. And it is the members of our highest court who do the vital and constant work of ensuring that they endure. And that's work that I am confident Elena will carry out with integrity, with humanity, and an abiding commitment to the ideal inscribed above our courthouse doors: equal justice under the law.Meanwhile, in the transition:
President-elect Donald J. Trump said Wednesday that he would place his vast business empire in a trust controlled by his two oldest sons and take other steps in an attempt to remove any suggestion of a conflict of interest with his decisions as president. But he said he would not sell his holdings.Time to ponder yet again exactly what it is we're losing.
Hours later, the government’s top ethics monitor said the plan was wholly inadequate and would leave the president vulnerable to “suspicions of corruption.”