Friday, July 9th, 2010...11:57 pm

Kagan’s responses to senators’ written questions

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If you only read one law-related document today, I hope it’s this one. I assure you it’s the most entertaining Q & A you would ever read when Rep. senators are involved.

View here: Kagan’s responses to senators’ written questions

Just to give you a sense of it, below are some of her responses to questions pertaining to death penalty:

7) Do you have any personal objections to the death penalty?



You have described Justice Marshall as your “hero” and his “vision of the Court and the Constitution” (“to safeguard the interests of people who had no other champion”) as “a thing of glory.” Justice Marshall, along with Justice Brennan, believed that the death penalty was unconstitutional under any circumstances. In their concurrence in Furman v. Georgia, 408 U.S. 238 (1972), they wrote that they would have held that any use of the death penalty is per se a violation of the Eighth Amendment.
a. Do you agree that the death penalty is per se unconstitutional?


The Supreme Court has long held that the death penalty is not per se unconstitutional. Gregg v. Georgia, 428 U.S. 153 (1976). Gregg is a precedent of the Court entitled to full stare decisis effect.

b. If not, do you agree that it is settled law that the death penalty is constitutional?



d. Where applicable, does the plain text of the Constitution control questions of application of the Bill of Rights?



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