Friday, May 14, 2010
The Obama White Houses has constructed a wall around Elena Kagan’s family in the run-up to the Senate Judiciary Hearings. Traditionally, it’s the nominee who is made unavailable to the media in order to keep them from saying something that might jeopardize their confirmation but, blocking access to the nominee’s family is nothing short of extraordinary.
The New York Times reports how a cousin of Ms. Kagan, Gail Katz-James of Minneapolis, MN, was quoted in a profile in the paper the day after the president announced the nomination how she described the “verbal sparring” around the dinner table in the Kagans’ Upper West Side apartment, saying that the family “just really enjoyed debating and discussing everything.”
But two days after the article appeared, when contacted again by the same reporter from The Times, Ms. Katz-James said: “I’m sorry. I’m not able to talk to you.” She was asked if the White House had directed her not to talk to the press. “Nope,” she said, and hung up the phone.
What could the Obama White House be so worried about? Could questions about the sexual orientation of the nominee be top on their list of concerns? Speculation about the 50-year old, unmarried Kagan being a lesbian have fueled many blog pieces in recent days and a lesbian nominee to the High Court could be hard for conservatives in the Congress to vote to confirm.