May 12th, 2010
By JULIE MASON, Washington Examiner
conflicts of interest could block her from ruling on cases dealing with Obama
President Obama’s nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court assumes that she will have to step aside on numerous cases. But that concern that was trumped by what Obama called her “skill as a consensus builder.”
For Obama, installing Kagan on the high court would mean more than adding another like-minded constitutional scholar to the mix. Ideally, Kagan would bring outreach skills the more liberal members of the court have been lacking.
“She has a long record as a consensus builder and is the kind of person who can bridge the 5-4 splits that have become so routine on this court,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, a New York Democrat and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Kagan’s skill set appeals to Obama, who wants to expand on his first-year Supreme Court nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
While Sotomayor is a reliable liberal vote on the court and the first Latina to serve, she functions primarily as a counterpoint to the court’s conservatives. Obama perceives Kagan as a justice with a broader role on the court.