Obama's choice: Elena Kagan

May 10, 2010 3:22:56 PM PDT
Is being a judge the prerequisite for becoming a judge for the highest court in the land?

That might become one of the centerpieces of the debate over whether Elena Kagan passes her confirmation hearing as the newest U.S. Supreme Court Justice.

It should be a moot point. The last two justices with no judicial experience served long tenures: Lewis Powell and William Rehnquist. Case closed.

The issue will once again be politics. Predictable politics. Conservatives will argue that Kagan is too liberal; liberals will say she's too conservative.

Should be a charming summer.

The rub is that Ms. Kagan has already been confirmed by the Senate last year - when she became the Obama Administration's Solicitor General. She argues the White House view before the Supreme Court, giving her, the argument goes, a constituency of 300 million Americans. Some call the position the 10th Justice.

She would be the third New Yorker on the bench, and the third woman (the other two women are New Yorkers as well - Ginsburg and Sotomayor).

We'll have reaction to the Kagan nomination, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, investigative reporter Sarah Wallace takes an extraordinary look at sex offenders who are going through therapy. Can it possibly work? Sarah had unprecedented access to one local program that's considered a model for the nation. And what she found might surprise you.

We'll also have the latest on our dear friend Barbara Walters, who announced on The View today that she was going in this week for heart valve surgery.

She says she's been watching the bad valve for a while, watching it slowly close. A recent echocardiogram showed that it was time to operate, so sometime this week, somewhere in New York City, the grand dame of TV journalism - who has more energy than anyone half her age - will have her faulty valve replaced.

I was at the View today, talking to folks in the audience, and the overwhelming sentiment - besides wish Barbara the best - was that she was setting an example for other women about dealing with heart problems. She was going public, and, hopefully, putting other peoples' fears to rest.

We wish her the best. CLICK HERE if you'd like to send her an electronic message via our website.

And Jim Dolan continues his coverage of the Times Square bomb plot, from his perch in Pakistan. He's tracing the roots and political evolution of the suspect, Faisal Shahzad.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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