Monday, May 10, 2010

First gay Supreme Court Justice?

Getting lost (and rightly so) in today's big news splash about President Obama's pick of Elena Kagan to replace Justice Stevens in the U.S. Supreme Court is the low-level smear campaign questioning Kagan's sexuality that emerged when her name was first floated earlier this Spring.  At the time, it appeared like this could actually scuttle her chances, and the White House seemed to acknowledge as much.

I have no idea if Ms. Kagan is gay or not.  I'd like to say I don't care, but -- let's face it -- I think it would be fantastic to have another, high-profile, out member of the government.  However, I will say that her sexual orientation should be completely irrelevant, cognizant that it will no doubt have relevance to those who would use even the mere suggestion of a non-heterosexual orientation to cast doubt on her ability to judge impartially.

I suppose the very public vetting process she now faces will eventually get around to discovering whatever truth is out there, and then we'll know.  Regardless, what we do know right now is that our President and his administration decided to go ahead with nominating her anyway, knowing full well this question would come up again.  That took guts, and I for one appreciate it.