Considering Kagan

By EDITORIAL  |  May 12, 2010

Bachelor David Souter also escaped most but not all sexual speculation. That’s because his nomination in 1990 was more or less conterminous with the founding of the World Wide Web. The 24-hour news cycle was just not a factor in his confirmation.

Whether sexual preference will now make its way into the Senate hearing room remains to be seen. Friends of Kagan have launched a counter-assault insisting she is straight. And it’s hard to imagine a political realist such as Obama not taking the hot-button issue of sexual preference into account.

It nevertheless poses a problem for White House operatives managing the Kagan hearing process. When Team Obama says Kagan is being smeared by those who claim she is gay, they anger their base, who counter, “What’s wrong with being a lesbian?”

This, of course, is music to the ears of the right-wing hate police.

The bottom line is that genital preference should not be confused with judicial philosophy.

Whether Kagan enjoys men, women, or both is nobody’s business but her own. Her position on free speech and civil liberties, and a long list of other important issues of our times, however, should be of real public concern.

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