New Supreme Court Justice to be sworn in

August 6, 2010 1:21:56 PM PDT
For such a complicated job, it's got a bizarre timetable.

Elena Kagan, nominated in the spring for the Supreme Court, going through hearings in early summer, getting confirmed and sworn-in mid-summer, and not starting work till October.

Today, Pres. Obama welcomed the native New Yorker to the White House for a celebratory reception, ahead of tomorrow's swearing-in.

"This is a good day," proclaimed Mr. Obama.

What was promised by Republicans to be a hard-knuckled confirmation hearing, turned into a softball hitting contest by Ms. Kagan, who disarmed the Senate Judiciary Committee members with a wicked combination of smarts and wit.

We'll have the reception, and the preview of her swearing-in, tonight at 11.

Also at 11, fears of the West Nile virus have sent up red flags in Nassau County, where a public health threat declaration has been issued. Mosquito control measures will not kick in to high gear, and we'll have the latest.

And full-body scanners are now coming to New York-area airports. The devices are supposed to offer state-of-the-art images that might help catch would-be terrorists.

But the equipment is also controversial. Earlier this week, the U.S. Marshal's office in central Florida admitted it has saved tens of thousands of images taken at a federal courthouse in Orlando. It claims it's never opened the files, however. But that kind of admission is what makes some people nervous.

And now, according to a law enforcement source, federal agents are investigating and starting to make cases against some TSA screeners who have been saving the scanner pictures for their personal use and sometimes posting them on the Internet.

Charming.

In any event, we'll preview these scanners. Do they really stop terrorists?

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Jeff Smith (in for Lee Goldberg) with his weekend AccuWeather forecast, and Rob Powers (in for Scott Clark) with the night's sports, including highlights from the Yankees-Red Sox game in the Bronx.

I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11, right after 20/20.

Finally, some of your comments emailed to our website about this column.

Bonnie Esposito of Hackensack, New Jersey, choosing to focus on the positive side of my blog about Alex Rodriguez's steroid use vis a vis his 600th homer this week, and my other little friend named Alex who was at the game. "Bill, how wonderful for Alex to see history. Very nice to read some happy news!"

Jim Kerner of Bergenfield, New Jersey, wrote about our item that wondered why school buses don't have seat belts. "I'm confused. Every year 42,000 people are killed in auto accidents. Not a peep. Yet, if a railroad wants to operate in their town, IT'S N.I.M.B.Y. TIME!"

Juanita Medina of New York City also wrote about seat belts in school buses. "You would think that with all the billions they have spent and keep spending on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq they would spend some of that money on keeping our children safe, even if it just meant installing seat belts on the old buses. That is the problem: THEY DON'T THINK."

And finally Roberta Pliner of Manhattan opines about the carnival operator in Pennsylvania who claims he didn't know the black man who was the target in a shooting gallery, with "The Prez" on his belt buckle, was supposed to be Pres. Obama: "What is a carnival doing offering shooting games, regardless of who the target is? And what is to prevent the vendor of that game from restoring the picture of the President as soon as ABC news goes home? Please keep your ironic comments coming. Any broadcast is better when the anchors comment from the heart instead of a TV monitor."

As always, thanks for watching, and thanks for your comments.

Have a good weekend.

BILL RITTER

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