During her nearly six years as the first female dean of the school, Kagan earned high marks for building consensus among the faculty’s notoriously warring factions. She modernized curriculum and attracted academic stars, transforming an institution that had a stellar name but was, by many accounts, ossified and often dysfunctional.
She made 43 teaching appointments, a stunning number, given that divisions among the faculty, which must approve hirings, had resulted in a logjam. Several of her appointments included professors with conservative leanings, which helped assuage complaints that Harvard did not welcome such views.I don't really get it. Was it that contentious at Harvard Law? At the end of the day, if the different professors are "warring," how much does it affect the business of running a law school? In the end, the Dean will do what the Dean does. She could have healed the factions by ignoring them and doing what she thought was best with for the school. I don't think that would be wrong. I'm also wondering if one can consider Harvard Law a microcosm of the United States, or even of SCOTUS.
I'm not really buying it.
But there's more:
In ways big and small, say instructors and students, Kagan also humanized Harvard Law. She installed benches and tables on a new patio, distributed complimentary coffee, decorated the drab hallways with framed artwork, and even set up an ice-skating rink.
Hardly an achievement if you ask me.
“The students at Harvard Law were always grateful to the school and always deeply respected it, but it would have been the unusual student that said, ‘I enjoyed being there.’ But that changed with her,’’ said Randall L. Kennedy, who had Kagan as a student in his class on race relations law in the mid-1980s, saw her return as a professor in 1999, and then worked for her when she became dean in 2003.
But I am happy that she is a woman. I am happy that she is an intellectual. I'm also happy that she's a New Yorker. I also don't see it as a bad thing that she's never been a judge. She might bring a new way of thinking to SCOTUS, which is needed. She is famous for her involvement in Citizens United v. FEC and the President of Citizens United said the following:
Authors and pamphleteers from Thomas Paine to Hamilton, Madison, and Jay writing as Publius were critical to the founding of this country. The founders, Madison in particular, recognized the danger inherent in allowing the government to regulate what could or could not be said about it and wrote the First Amendment to guard against exactly the kind of government censorship that Solicitor General Kagan advocated for in Citizens United.
“Given President Obama’s reliance on her role in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and the essential importance of the First Amendment to American democracy, I urge the Senate to reject Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Every American has a fundamental right to speak out for or against their elected representatives without fear of reprisal, and a nominee who does not respect that right has no business on our nation’s highest court.”
In case you were wondering, the issue in this matter was NOT Citizens' freedom of speech. The issue was that the speech was backed by corporate funding. I love how his quote, if read in a bubble by a moron, may be construed to mean that Ms. Kagan was against freedom of speech. I wish I was so stupid as to fall for such black and white arguments. Unfortunately, many uneducated Americans will believe just that and want her to be kept of of SCOTUS.
I heard a clip of her arguing against corporations having a right to freedom of speech, but can't find it on the net to save my life, so I posted the entire oral argument above. I hope she's somewhere in there. But this will be the reason why Republicans may vote against her. It's probably the thing that I find most intriguing about this Nominee. We're in the midst of a recession that was caused by a lack of regulations and big business gone wild, and people still think the key to our future is empowering Corporations. Bull.