CNN's Cafferty Skeptical of Kagan Nomination to Supreme Court

Jack Cafferty, CNN Commentator | NewsBusters.orgCNN's Jack Cafferty expressed skepticism of President Barack Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court during a commentary on Tuesday's Situation Room. After outlining Kagan's elite background, Cafferty noted that many thought that "someone who has spent so much time in elite academic settings is out-of-touch with average Americans."

The CNN commentator began by pointing out a promised made by the President in the past: "President Obama promised us all Supreme Court candidates who can relate to the real world and how the law affects ordinary Americans, but there are questions about whether Elena Kagan fits that description. Kagan comes from a world unknown to most Americans: from Manhattan's Upper West Side, to Princeton University, and on to Harvard Law School."

Cafferty then quoted an apparent joke made by the lecherous former governor of New York Elliot Spitzer and continued with his hint that the Supreme Court nominee may be out-of-touch: "Eliot Spitzer joked with Politico, saying, 'Are you suggesting that Princeton, Harvard, and New York aren't the totality of real life?' unquote. But a lot of people don't think it's so funny, saying that someone who has spent so much time in elite academic settings is out-of-touch with average Americans."

Later in the segment, after pointing out Kagan's vocal support of Harvard Law School's policy of banning military recruiters due to the don't ask, don't tell policy, the commentator outlined how critics of the nominee "point to Kagan's lack of litigation experience and her scant writings" and her "lack of a public record." Cafferty even summarized a recent criticism made by CNN's Roland Martin on her tenure at the law school: "Still others question Kagan's hiring record when she was dean of Harvard Law School: four out of every five hires were white men- not exactly a poster child for diversity."

Despite his own skepticism, most of the viewer responses that Cafferty read near the end of the 5 pm Eastern hour supported the Kagan nomination and/or came from the liberal side of the political spectrum.

CAFFERTY: Steven writes from Maine, 'Kagan appears to be highly qualified academically, as well as a sharp and likable person. In a recent article, though, someone suggested that she has wanted a seat on the Supreme Court since she was a youngster. It almost appears her thin paper trail has been a lifelong strategy, calculated to help her clear senate confirmation. If her convictions were mainstream, this would not be necessary.'

Mark writes, 'She apparently has the ability to go toe to toe intellectually with Scalia. She reflects the character of the American people, more than Alito or Roberts, who reflect the character of the American corporation. She will make an immeasurably better justice than Clarence Thomas, but then so would my cat. As for being elitist, would you rather have Joe the Plumber?

Linda writes, 'How can you say in one breath we don't know enough about her, and then ask in the next if she's the right choice. Let the process run its course. Those who have the responsibility to decide her qualifications will find out what they need to know.'

Dave writes, 'Comes from a world unknown to most Americans, as did Justice Sotomayor, but apparently, the South Bronx is more real than the Upper West Side? Come on, Jack. You've lived in New York long enough not to make a comment like that. Yes, she's the right choice, but only because Hillary Clinton is indispensable as secretary of state.'

Kevin in Illinois: 'I think she's a solid choice for the Supreme Court, and I believe Barack Obama would be a great choice as well when he's out of office in 2016.'

And Mark in Oklahoma: she's female, not a judge, dean of the Harvard Law School, intelligent, probably has some common sense. What else do you want- one of the gals from 'The View'?
The full transcript of Jack Cafferty's commentator, which aired 11 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour:
CAFFERTY: Steven writes from Maine, 'Kagan appears to be highly qualified academically, as well as a sharp and likable person. In a recent article, though, someone suggested that she has wanted a seat on the Supreme Court since she was a youngster. It almost appears her thin paper trail has been a lifelong strategy, calculated to help her clear senate confirmation. If her convictions were mainstream, this would not be necessary.'

Mark writes, 'She apparently has the ability to go toe to toe intellectually with Scalia. She reflects the character of the American people, more than Alito or Roberts, who reflect the character of the American corporation. She will make an immeasurably better justice than Clarence Thomas, but then so would my cat. As for being elitist, would you rather have Joe the Plumber?

Linda writes, 'How can you say in one breath we don't know enough about her, and then ask in the next if she's the right choice. Let the process run its course. Those who have the responsibility to decide her qualifications will find out what they need to know.'

Dave writes, 'Comes from a world unknown to most Americans, as did Justice Sotomayor, but apparently, the South Bronx is more real than the Upper West Side? Come on, Jack. You've lived in New York long enough not to make a comment like that. Yes, she's the right choice, but only because Hillary Clinton is indispensable as secretary of state.'

Kevin in Illinois: 'I think she's a solid choice for the Supreme Court, and I believe Barack Obama would be a great choice as well when he's out of office in 2016.'

And Mark in Oklahoma: she's female, not a judge, dean of the Harvard Law School, intelligent, probably has some common sense. What else do you want- one of the gals from 'The View'?
The full transcript of Jack Cafferty's commentator, which aired 11 minutes into the 5 pm Eastern hour:
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan
Matthew Balan is a news analyst at Media Research Center