Steele Fires Opening Salvo Against Kagan
Her crime? Quoting Thurgood Marshall against slavery
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2010 1:37 PM CDT
Michael Steele, Chairman of the Republican National Committee, speaks at the National Action Network Convention Wednesday, April 14, 2010, in New York.   (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

(Newser) – If you were hoping for a quick, bipartisan approval process for Elena Kagan, keep dreaming. Michael Steele has put out a statement leaving little doubt that Republicans intend to challenge Kagan any way they can. He criticizes her for trying to bar military recruiters from Harvard Law School's campus, “her endorsement of the liberal agenda,” and “her support for statements suggesting that the Constitution, 'as originally drafted and conceived, was defective.'”

There's just one problem with that last, seemingly damning accusation: Kagan did indeed write that statement, but she was explicitly quoting none other than Thurgood Marshall, points out Greg Sargent of the Washington Post, and the defect in question was slavery, something we're gonna go ahead and assume Steele opposes, too. You can read Marshall's full statement here. Kagan's take was that Marshall believed that the role of courts in interpreting the constitution is “to safeguard the interests of people who had no other champion.”