News & Politics

SCOTUS Watch: Manufactured-Controversy Edition

Elena Kagan’s supporters and skeptics are lining up in predictable ways, but public opinion backs her.

More and more of Elena Kagan’s paper trail is coming to light, and there’s still relatively little controversy to report. She remains on track to take her seat on the high court, but that’s not stopping critics from making a lot of noise.

Anti-abortion and other conservative groups are using the lead up to Kagan’s confirmation hearings to trumpet their agendas and rally the opposition. Liberal groups are getting a piece of the action, too.

The Senate Judiciary Committee has now had a full week to sift through the first wave of documents from Kagan’s early career released by the National Archives. And no surprise here—two senior Republican senators find some of her memos “troubling,” “disturbing,” and too political.

Another document dump is scheduled for today, but if the entirety of Kagan’s paper trail isn’t released soon, Senator Jeff Sessions, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, says he’ll ask to delay her hearings.

But the American public is on Kagan’s side, with nearly six in ten saying the Senate should confirm her.

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Senior Editor

Marisa M. Kashino joined Washingtonian in 2009 and was a senior editor until 2022.