Supreme Court Nominations

At Kagan Hearings, ‘Umpire’ Mentioned Nine Times and ‘God’ Five Times


An analogy plucked from the confirmation hearing for Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. continues to have an impact.

Roberts compared judges to umpires calling balls and strikes. Now, in the confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, the “umpire” word came up nine times, according to a tally by the National Law Journal (PDF). (Kagan had said there’s some truth to the metaphor, but it has its limits.)

More popular were the words Constitution (getting 320 mentions), precedent (258 mentions) and commerce clause (43 mentions).

Under the heading “other matters,” the NLJ reveals that God came up five times, Chinese restaurants twice (Kagan volunteered that’s where she likely was on Christmas Day), Anita Hill once, and Dancing with the Stars once (a suggestion was made that Kagan should go on the show because she was “dancing” in her answers).

Hat tip to The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.

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