It looks almost certain that President Obama will name his solicitor general, Elena Kagan, to the Supreme Court tomorrow. Bad choice. You'd think that if Obama is the master politician and 8-dimensional chess player that some say he is, he'd have figured out now that every Republican will unite against his pick even if it were Zombie Ronald Reagan. So he should take the opportunity -- especially when there are 59 Democratic senators, surely the high water mark of his presidency -- to pick someone the progressive community can get excited about, a liberal Scalia who would be a powerful voice on the Court for decades to come.
No such luck. You know, when Bush was seeking unprecedented powers for the executive branch, a few of us were warning that conservatives should be careful what they wish for, that a Democratic president might not roll back Bush and Cheney's power grab but expand it. Which is exactly what may happen if Obama gets Elena Kagan onto the Supreme Court.
This is the kind of thing that should send chills down the spines of liberals and conservatives alike:
Indeed, after Mr. Obama selected her to be his solicitor general, she publicly embraced an expansive interpretation of the Congressional authorization to use military force against Al Qaeda. Ms. Kagan also took a leading role on a legal team that has sought to suppress lawsuits using the state secrets privilege and fought a ruling granting habeas corpus rights to some detainees in Afghanistan.
Glenn Greenwald has taken a lead role in pushing liberal opposition to Kagan -- it would be great to see other progressives join him.