Dithering about the closet

Andrew Sullivan has been all in a swivet about Elena Kagan. Generally when he gets in said swivets, I find him a little hard to take. But on the subject of Kagan and closets, I find myself agreeing with him.

Elena Kagan may or may not be a lesbian. I have no idea. If she's not, then it is beyond obvious that denying it is the only appropriate response. If she is, on the other hand, then I think she has a moral obligation to say so. I certainly understand why she might be inclined to keep her private life private, but there are implications and obligations beyond her desire not to have her love life scrutinized.

Let me be clear. I am sincerely sympathetic when it comes to why she would be deeply, indescribably reluctant to have the likes of, say, Jeff Sessions casting aspersions about how she lives her life. I am, luckily, able to tell the likes of Jeff Sessions (were he to ask) to cram his inquiries about my private life into [redacted] without fear of losing my job. Kagan is not so lucky at the moment, and so she has to face the monumentally unpalatable task of hearing the opinions of Sessions et al about her love life and her fitness to be appointed to the Supreme Court. I get it.

She should still answer the question in a straight-forward manner, should it (almost certainly) come up. The time for lesbianism to be considered a shameful secret is well past, and good riddance. The people who would oppose her nomination on those grounds would (bet your bottom dollar) oppose her nomination regardless. It will be a convenient excuse for them, to be sure, but I would just as soon have them expose themselves (once again) for the flagrant anti-gay bigots we already know them to be as have them bloviate about something else.

Social change requires courage, and I would honestly hope that anyone worthy of serving on our nation's highest court, in a branch co-equal with the presidency, would have that kind of courage. I know doing so is politically inconvenient. She should do it anyway.

1 comment:

  1. I think she should tell the Senate to go pound sand if they should inquire about her personal life. But then, I'm not running my yap about how important "life experiences" and "cultural diversity" are in qualifying someone to sing for the Supremes. Pick one side or the other.

    If I were to oppose her, it would be because she admires Aharon Barak, erstwhile judge of the Israeli Supremes, a man that Richard A. Posner describes in a book review as an "enlightened despot."