Amid Partisan Bickering, Kagan Is Narrowly Confirmed

The outcome was never in doubt. But the narrowness of the 63–37 margin by which the Senate confirmed Elena Kagan as Supreme Court's 112th justice this afternoon would stun a Rip Van Winkle who had slept through the rising partisan rancor that has poisoned judicial confirmations at all levels in recent years.

Kagan Hearings Are All About the Midterms

With little doubt that Elena Kagan will be confirmed as the next Supreme Court justice, senators have turned her hearings into a preview of the fall elections. Wednesday's topics: abortion, gays in the military, and campaign finance.

Graham, the Gentleman, at Kagan Hearings

Sen. Lindsey Graham injected a distinctive and salutary element Tuesday afternoon into a dreary confirmation process drenched in partisanship, yet devoid of real drama. It was a lesson about the need to tamp down the bitter liberal–conservative battles poisoning Washington.

Are Kagan Hearings a Waste of Time?

Like many similar proceedings that came before, the Elena Kagan confirmation hearings have offered little in substance or excitement. Why some think Congress should scrap testimony from reviews of judicial nominees.

Sessions Pounds Kagan on Military

The Supreme Court nominee defends her decision as Harvard Law dean to restrict U.S. armed-services recruiters from using the school's career-services office. Will the attacks resonate with patriotic Americans?

Dems Use Kagan Hearing to Go After Roberts

Democrats in the Senate used the first day of Elena Kagan's confirmation hearings to launch attacks on the Supreme Court under John Roberts, which Sen. Patrick Leahy derided as driven by "conservative judicial activism." Meanwhile, Kagan may have found an supporter among Republicans: South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

Gun-Rights Decision May Have Limited Impact

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the right "to keep and bear arms" in the Constitution's 2nd Amendment applies to state and local governments. But this new-found right may not restrict gun control laws very much.

Kagan's Best Strategy Is Silence

Republican Sen. Charles Grassley says he will press Elena Kagan at her confirmation hearing to be "as forthcoming" about her views of specific issues as she once argued other Supreme Court nominees should be. Many commentators have also called on her to disclose her specific views. But Kagan will not do that. And she should not.

Washington State Fights to Out Antigay Activists

Is signing a petition a public act, like holding up a protest sign, or is it a private decision, like casting a vote? That question is before the Supreme Court next month, in a case that could have far-reaching implications for activism on both the left and right.The controversy began last year when 138,000 Washington state residents signed a petition to repeal benefits for same-sex domestic partners.

If Ginsburg Retires, Obama Faces A Tough Choice

President Obama has tried to remain true to his campaign message of bipartisanship. But he's struggled to get everyone else to play along. Congressional Democrats, finally out from under the GOP thumb, want to enjoy their powers, while Republicans are already plotting their comeback.

Obama's Cheney Dilemma

Cheney pushed for expanded presidential powers. Now that he's leaving, what will come of his efforts? The new president won't have to wait long to tip his hand.

The Supreme Court's Political Rulings

A - Liberal justices are politicians on the bench, B - Conservative justices are politicians on the bench, C - Liberal and conservative justices regard each other as hypocrites on this question, D - All of the above

Stuart Taylor on Race and the Court

Measured by the passion of the dissenters, today's 5-4 vote to strike down two school districts' use of race-based student assignments to promote integration could be the biggest Supreme Court decision of any kind in years.

Taylor: The President's War Powers

President Bush did not mince words May 1, in announcing his decision to veto the Iraq supplemental appropriations bill. "This legislation is unconstitutional because it purports to direct the conduct of the operations of the war in a way that infringes upon the powers vested in the presidency by the Constitution, including as commander in chief of the armed forces," Bush said.

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