Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shorty - From A German(s) View

When German media today reported on the Obama nomination they first struggled to explain (and translate) what a Solicitor General is and does. For Germans it's a concept rather difficult to understand. But the German press did explain that (a) Kagan was a woman, (b) a liberal, (c) yet moderate, (d) yet someone who protested against the discrimination of gays by the military. Germans today learned that that's a huge thing in America. In general, Germany seems to view Kagan as a good choice, although my impression, after reading today's press coverage mostly on Google news, is that the main and mostly exclusive argument is that she is a woman and that being a woman she has been rather succesful and has attended Princeton, Oxford and Harvard. Germans are very impressed by these names. And I am glad they are.

However, in Germany there does not seem to be any other argument pro Kagan. This might be due to that fact that, not unlike any other Western country, the press is usually rather liberal than conservative. But that's the point. Kagan to me is just another proof for how openly political the Supreme Court is allowed to portray itself. I do not think that's a good thing. I believe the more Justices have to cover the fact of their political beliefs the harder it gets for the Court to use political instead of legal arguments. And I believe the harder this is the better for a democratic legal system. So the only negative fact I can say about her on this day is that I think she is a politician. At least she's more of a politican than a scholar. That was her big advance as Dean.

The good thing I can say about her has a lot to do with what Anna Su (who shook Kagan's hand only a few minutes before I did) has already posted earlier below. It has to do with a short pale jewish girl from New York City whose parents were not the Kennedys and who, instead of spending her days choosing the shape of her mascara, studied and learned hard and went to Harvard and became Dean and stood up at all the tanned young upper class men I'm sure she encountered along her way, and who, as I witnessed, had the guts to call a famed Ivy League law school the New York City of law school's. And who, as Anna Su has greatly pointed out, in the middle of puritan heaven had the guts to say to us to just relax. When she did it frankly almost made me cry. Well, to me that's Shorty. You can say what you want about her. But she is what Billy Wilder called a mensch. And that's why she'll be a great Supreme Court Justice.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Website Tracker