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How Did Elena Kagan's Sexuality Go From Rumor to Issue?

How Did Elena Kagan's Sexuality Go From Rumor to Issue?

Yesterday a photo of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan playing softball at age 17 in the Wall Street Journal set the Internet aflame. Was it an insinuation that Kagan is a lesbian, or just an excuse to use the "come to the plate" pun? The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) immediately lashed out the Journal, claiming it was an implicit allusion to Kagan being gay.

The rumor that Kagan is a closeted lesbian has been everywhere since President Obama nominated her Monday morning. Where did it come from? Let's start with bloggers, but it was CBS who pulled the rumor out of the bloggy slush pile and gave it wings in the mainstream media. It published a blog post by conservative blogger Ben Domenech, who's resigned at least once for plagiarism that said Kagan would be the "first openly gay justice." CBS insisted the post stay after initial rumblings, but ultimately removed it.

Now we know how the story became so big, but what evidence is there? Lots of opinions. Here are three reasons that the rumor has become larger than fact below.


So while most people agree it doesn't matter if she's gay nor is it our business, it will matter as long as we talk about it. Which is why, I am going to stop.

Image Source: Getty
Join The Conversation
GregS GregS 7 years
Most welcome all. :D
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
Thanks for the info Greg. I wasn't familiar with that. I will do more research about the subject.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
Haha, snarkypants... that can't be transmitted through the internet, can it!!? I'm scared!!!
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
HA! I totally had a Margaret Cho moment!
snarkypants snarkypants 7 years
uh oh. i played softball too! hope i didn't catch teh gay!
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
My thoughts exactly tlsgirl. I played softball....oh wait, I'm bi. whoops. haha. :rolls eyes: it's such a stupid way to undermine this woman. all i care about if she has the chops to be a SCJ, not her sexual orientation.
GregS GregS 7 years
Toty - There have been 110 or 111 SCJ's in the history of the US. Of those, 40+ had no experience as a judge. Of the eight Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon appointees, a majority — White, Goldberg, Fortas, Powell, and Rehnquist — hadn’t served as judges. The ones who had served as judges were Marshall, Burger, and Blackmun. From NPR: Justices who were not judges in lower courts include: "Chief Justice John Marshall, widely credited with establishing the judiciary as a genuinely co-equal branch of government; Chief Justice Earl Warren, who led the court in a period of expanding individual and civil rights; Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who led the court in reversing that direction; Justice Joseph Story, considered, along with Justice Marshall, to be one of the formative figures in early American jurisprudence; Justice Robert Jackson, a former attorney general whose Supreme Court opinions on the limits of executive power are routinely cited at Supreme Court confirmation hearings by the nominees and the senators; and Justices Louis Brandeis and Felix Frankfurter, to name just two more. So why are the big names in American jurisprudence so often people who came to the court with no prior judicial experience? "People who have been judges for a long time develop very narrow technical skills, which are quite suitable for lower court positions," Dellinger said. "But cases come to the Supreme Court precisely because there is no clear legal answer, and justices have to use judgment and all the tools of a Supreme Court justice to come up with a sense of the history and structure of the Constitution and what makes a workable legal rule."
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
totygoliguez totygoliguez 7 years
This is ridiculous. Yes, I personally don't think she is qualify for the job, she has not judging experience and that scares me a little. But her sexuality definitely doesn't matter! What matters here is how well she can do her job and her qualifications, not who she sleeps or doesn't sleep with.
cirrus1701 cirrus1701 7 years
Given the choice, I would rather have Hillary than Elena!! Elena's sexual orientation is in the sub-basement of the tower of reservations that I have about her. And that whole softball thing...I guess I'm in real trouble! I like to play, as well as doing a bit of fencing and weightlifting. Oh wait! I even have multiple pairs of hiking boots too!! Oh, the humanity! My husband is in for a shock! :) The whole softball issue just makes me cringe. Ugh.
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 7 years
The Journals suggestion probably came from the Gay communities assertion that she's Gay. I know all of my Gay connections yelled "lesbian" as soon as they saw her. What we have here is a simple case of fitting a stereotype but not being the stereotype. Let's move on.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 7 years
So playing softball automatically means that she's gay now? Personally, I don't give a damn what she is, or what she looks like.
runningesq runningesq 7 years
I find it incredibly sad that "we" constantly attack female politicans' looks in a way rarely done to males. Look at Hillary Clinton. WHO CARES what she looks like or her sexual orientation? I want someone on the SCOTUS to be a brilliant legal mind and stick up for my rights. I don't CARE what my SCOTUS justices look like !
TammyO TammyO 7 years
This is ridiculous, the questions and concerns about her should be "Can she do a good job on the Supreme Court?" not "What is her sexual orientation?" It's so assbackwards.
jenni5 jenni5 7 years
Who cares? As long as she is good at her job.
skigurl skigurl 7 years
based entirely on looks, come to think of it, i thought she was gay the first time you posted a picture of her, but i also didn't put much thought into it and don't care whatsoever what her sexual orientation is...not my business
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