TPM News

Audra Shay, the chairman of the Young Republicans National Federation, resigned today, citing personal reasons.

"Recently the stress of running a national organization has begun to take a major toll on my personal, and professional, my health mentally and physically," she wrote in a letter to board members. "The responsibilities or running this organization without a salary or full time staff has become overwhelming. I have recently lost two of my family members and found out yesterday that a third has 3 months to live. With these circumstances I have spent many hours praying as to what my path was to be. Today I am letting you know the answer to that question is that I will be resigning as YRNF Chairman."

Read More →

The state of Florida paid George Rekers -- the anti-gay leader recently caught with a male escort -- $120,000 to testify against allowing gay couples to adopt children, testimony that was deemed not credible by the judge.

Rekers was paid a $60,900 retainer. He also received a $59,793 payment for hourly billing, according to document provided to TPMmuckraker by the Department of Children and Families. That comes out to 402 hours at about $150 per hour. The payments were made by the office of the Florida attorney general, Bill McCollum, which was defending the DCF's policy.

Read More →

The RNC isn't backing down from Michael Steele's strange criticism of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

Earlier today, Steele released a statement criticizing Kagan for citing (in a 1993 law review article) Thurgood Marshall's statement that the Constitution, as originally written, was "defective." Marshall was referring to the Constitution's treatment of slaves, and Kagan praised the Court for rectifying the inequity.

But in a blog post this afternoon, the RNC's Doug Heye is defending the group's chairman, and disputing how his comments have been interpreted today.

Read More →

Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ) cast doubt this afternoon on the possibility of a Republican filibuster of Solicitor General Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination.

"There won't be a Republican position," Kyl told reporters. "It's hard for me to see--though we have to look at all her record--that there would be grounds for filibustering her nomination."

Check out TPMDC's full coverage of the Kagan nomination here.

Fifteen years before she was nominated to the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan wrote in a book review that the confirmation process for justices had become a "farce," and that senators should press for detailed accounts of a nominee's views.

"When the Senate ceases to engage nominees in meaningful discussion of legal issues," Kagan wrote in a review of The Confirmation Mess by Stephen Carter, "the confirmation process takes on an air of vacuity and farce, and the Senate becomes incapable of either properly evaluating nominees or appropriately educating the public."

Read More →

Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has released a statement expressing his opposition to President Obama's nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Inhofe cited Kagan's lack of judicial experience, her stance on military recruiting on college campuses and the "seeming contempt she has demonstrated in her comments about the Senate confirmation process."

Read More →

Earlier today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele released a statement about Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, criticizing the solicitor general for "her support for statements suggesting that the Constitution "as originally drafted and conceived, was 'defective.'"

Just one problem -- Kagan was writing about comments made by Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. And Marshall was referring to slavery.

Read More →


On May 10, 2010, President Obama nominated Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. Here, Kagan -- who has reportedly been dreaming of being a Supreme Court justice since high school -- poses outside the court before taking the oath as solicitor general in March 2009.

Newscom/Zumawire




Obama interviews Kagan in the Oval Office.

White House Photo by Pete Souza




Kagan was the dean of Harvard Law School before becoming solicitor general -- the first woman to hold either position. Here, she gives a speech after accepting the John R. Kramer Outstanding Law School Dean Award at the 2008 Equal Justice Works awards dinner. Equal Justice Works is a group of lawyers focused on public service.

Newscom/Zumawire




Kagan testifies during her confirmation hearing to become solicitor general in February 2009.

Newscom/Zumawire




President Obama calls Kagan on May 9 to tell her she'll be his nominee.

White House Photo by Pete Souza




Obama, accompanied by Vice President Biden, officially announces Kagan as his nominee.
"She believes as I do that exposure to a broad array of perspectives is the foundation not just of a sound legal education but for a successful life in the law," he said.

CNN




Kagan teaching a class at the University of Chicago Law School, where she was a professor from 1991 to 1995.

Photo by University of Chicago Law School




Kagan at the law school's student-professor trivia contest in 1992.

Photo by University of Chicago Law School




Kagan attended Princeton University as an undergrad and worked on the school's newspaper. She graduated from Princeton in 1981. Here, she appears in an advertisement recruiting students for the paper.

Courtesy of Princeton University




Kagan's Princeton yearbook photo.

Courtesy of Princeton University




With Gen. David Petraeus in 2009, Kagan participates in the promotion ceremony of a student of Harvard Law School, where she was dean.

Courtesy of Harvard Law School




The promotion ceremony.

Courtesy of Harvard Law School

It was a busy political convention weekend in Utah, with party activists feeling restless. Over on the Democratic side, five-term Rep. Jim Matheson was unable to reach 60% of the delegate vote at his party's convention, forcing him into a primary for his house seat against retired high school teacher and adjunct college instructor Claudia Wright. And all this in the same weekend that saw Utah GOPers unseat their own incumbent Sen. Bob Bennett.

Matheson took 55% of the vote to Wright's 45% -- a stunning position for a nine-year incumbent. The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Democratic activists were put off by the Blue Dog Matheson's instances of voting against the Democratic legislative agenda, with his vote against the new health care reform law as one example.

"You're angry about some of my votes," Matheson told the convention, which responded with what the Tribune described as ironic applause. "But I'm a Democrat and I'm here to tell you I don't run from that label because it's in my blood."

Read More →

LiveWire

I'm here!