I don't usually pay much attention to Andrew Sullivan, because he strikes me as the type of trivially fashionable Englishman I emigrated to get away from (but he followed!—argh!!). So I don't know where exactly he stands right now on whether Elena Kagan should fess up if she's a lesbian, a question the Establshment Media has just gone into one of its suspiciously co-ordinated campaigns to suppress, causing Sullivan to announce obediently (see?!) that he won't ask it any more.
But on Sunday, and in the U.K., Sullivan was back being funny and eloquent in his argument that Kagan should indeed fess up, because
She is not only a blank slate as an intellectual and public figure; she is also a blank slate in other respects as well...She will, after all, assume a lifelong position with immense power. It is not crazy to ask questions that would help us judge how she sees the world and the law and the core issues of public moment she will have to address in the future.
(Answer the lesbian question, Ms Legal Eagle, by Andrew Sullivan, Sunday Times (London), May 16 2010)
"Immense power" is an understatement. What's happening here is the inexorable consequence of more than fifty years of judicial activism, dating back to the Warren court. Because judges have decided to become legislators, without regard for the letter of the law—a phenomenon Kagan has enthusiastically endorsed—the question of a judicial nominee's character and personal beliefs becomes fundamental, just as it would for a political candidate. Plus, as Sullivan rightly points out, in Kagan's case there's nothing else to go on anyway.
People assess politicians using a variety of cues, including personal experience. So what is Americans' experience of of New York Jewish lesbian lawyers?
A (male) New York lawyer writes me:
I learned long ago that this species is particularly poisonous. They combine and amplify the Christophobic inclinations of Jews, the anti-male inclinations of feminists, and the anti-straight inclinations of homosexuals. In addition, they tend to be totally humorless. The white man isn't simply an opponent. He is the enemy who must not only be defeated but must be destroyed.
This is a stereotype, of course. But the point about stereotypes is that they are often true - the word originally meant phrases that proved so useful and common that printers kept them in standing type. Does someone have another, nicer stereotype of New York Jewish lesbians?
Maybe Elenor Kagan will prove to be a paragon of impartiality. VDARE.COM certainly has gay supporters. But everything in her background suggests otherwise. We do know that any attempt at patriotic immigration reform will be litigated to the limit in federal courts. How can any patriotic immigration reformer take the risk with Kagan?