Today Jay Bybee is a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, but apparently being elevated to the federal bench hasn't stunted his creative powers. In a case called Guggenheim v. City of Goleta, Bybee has managed to do what has eluded national property-rights advocates for decades: declare a rent control ordinance unconstitutional under the Fifth Amendment's Takings Clause.
You are here
WASHINGTON—As a Supreme Court law clerk in 1987, Elena Kagan read the 14th Amendment as permitting lawsuits against reckless state officials who ignore their duties—reflecting the liberal view that the constitutional guarantee of liberty should be read broadly.
Elena Kagan has been pegged as a boring, strategic Supreme Court pick, one whose bland background in administrative law and studious avoidance of hot-button constitutional issues makes her a highly confirmable nominee. But these very qualities may make her an environmental advocate along the lines of the justice she would be replacing -- one whose judicial restraint and faith in regulation drove the Court's most significant environmental decisions over the past 35 years.
Now that President Obama has nominated former Harvard law School Dean and U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, the battle to define her is on.
So far, she's proving difficult to pin down. Her lack of judicial experience means there's no trail of telling decisions to paint her as a lefty or moderate. Still, there are hints, and as the Senate prepares for confirmation hearings, both sides of the aisle are searching for reasons to support or attack her.
Undoubtedly, over the next handful of weeks, as people pore over her papers and closely read her remarks, we’re going to learn more about Elena Kagan.
Already, her supporters are pointing to a speech she gave to cadets at West Point in 2007, while she was the Harvard Law dean, about the Constitution and the rule of law. (In this Huffington Post story, Doug Kendall called the speech “powerful” and that it gave “powerful examples of what fidelity to the Constitution and the law entails.”
Republican candidate for governor Bob Vander Plaats says he supports denying state benefits such as in-state college tuition to children of illegal immigrants, even if the children were born in the United States.
Former Gov. Terry Branstad said the same thing Saturday but backtracked Tuesday.
To understand why 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Sidney Thomas is a finalist for elevation to the U.S. Supreme Court, look at Jackson v. Rent-a-Center West.
Liberals fear that after they helped elect President Barack Obama he'll abandon them when he nominates a Supreme Court justice, choosing a consensus-building moderate rather than a liberal in the mold of retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.