Supreme Court Breakfast Table

Kagan's Hat Trick
An email conversation about the news of the day.
July 1 2010 7:48 PM

Supreme Court Breakfast Table

VIEW ALL ENTRIES

Dear Walter and Paul:

This week will certainly go down in Breakfast Table history as the busiest we've ever had, and I want to thank you both—on behalf of our readers—for the heroic efforts to watch soccer, read and digest opinions, and teach us all something about the Constitution, while a confirmation hearing is exploding all around us. Before I sign off, I just want to echo something Paul wrote in his latest post on Bilski: that this judging thing is hard, and we don't blame judges for coming to different answers.

I don't know if I've ever covered a more civil confirmation hearing. Yes, it's been testy at times, but I have seen so few personal, insulting character attacks this week—the sort of attacks we saw during the Alito and Sotomayor hearings. I suspect this is partly Kagan-specific—she has made it hard to dislike her and easy to admire her. I also suspect it's because we have talked very little about the issues that sometimes make these hearings so toxic; some of the most overheated exchanges this week actually concerned the commerce clause and book burning rather than abortion and affirmative action. It's also possible that substituting a liberal for a liberal at the high court just doesn't warrant bringing on the crazy. I also would like to believe that the courts have a quality that inclines us to try to speak a bit softly, and a bit respectfully, and that this is a good thing.

Thanks for the time you both put in, and for sharing your insights and wisdom. Thanks also for teaching me everything I will ever know about the game of soccer. Have a happy Fourth, and a restful summer.

Yours,
Dahlia

Dahlia Lithwick writes about the courts and the law for Slate. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

The World

How Canada’s Shooting Tragedies Have Shaped Its Gun Control Politics

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 22 2014 9:42 PM Landslide Landrieu Can the Louisiana Democrat use the powers of incumbency to save herself one more time?
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Culturebox
Oct. 22 2014 11:52 PM The Ebola Story How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.