Civil rights organizations question nominee Elena Kagan’s record on race
On the eve of Elena Kagan’s Senate confirmation hearings, her record on race in the Clinton White House and at Harvard Law School is producing discomfort among some leading civil rights organizations, leaving them struggling to decide whether they want her to join the Supreme Court.
Their reservations have introduced the first substantive division among liberals in what has otherwise been a low-key partisan debate over Kagan’s merits to replace Justice John Paul Stevens. The uncertainty among some on the left is particularly striking, given that she was nominated by the nation’s first black president.
Decades after the height of the civil rights movement, questions involving race and ethnicity persist as a recurrent theme before the Supreme Court, and attitudes on those issues remain a significant prism through which nominees are evaluated by those on the left and the right.