Remember that nasty New Republic piece Jeffrey Rosen wrote about Sonia Sotomayor last year? It will be interesting to see if Glenn Greenwald is/was right about Rosen’s brother-in-law becoming Solicitor General now:
Jeffrey Rosen’s brother-in-law is Neal Katyal, the current Deputy Solicitor General in the Obama administration. If Sotomayor’s prospects are torpedoed, that could clear the way for one of the other leading candidates to be named to the Court: current Solicitor General Elena Kagan. The selection of Kagan (rather than Sotomayor) would almost certainly result in Rosen’s brother-in-law (Katyal) becoming Solicitor General. Additionally, Katyal himself was once a clerk for a Second Circuit judge, obviously raising the question of whether he was one of the anonymous sources for his brother-in-law’s hit piece disparaging Sotomayor’s intellect and character.
you need an “Inside Baseball” tag. :)
It will be interesting to see, indeed. Katyal was the lead counsel for the plaintiffs in Hamdan, which makes him an “al Qaeda lawyer” to wingers. His current position did not require confirmation, but SG does. His appointment was a nod to civil libertarians, but Obama has not shown much stomach for fights on their behalf, to put it mildly.
I’d say Katyal being appointed SG would be quite a long shot.
It is worth noting that Katyal is eminently qualified to serve as SG – which, to my knowledge, Greenwald does not dispute. It is further worth noting that there is not one shred of evidence that Katyal was a source for Rosen’s piece on Sotomayor.
Greenwald’s rant against Katyal was an evidence-free smear at the time it appeared, and it remains an evidence-free smear today. I am at a loss to understand why you are exhuming it now.
He didn’t specifically accuse Katyal of anything, to be fair. He suggested that a relationship should have been mentioned when an entire piece attacking someone was based on anonymous sources.
You are right — I probably should not have included the bit where Greenwald wondered if Katyal was the source for Rosen’s story. But I thin it is more than fair to wonder if Rosen was sandbagging Sotomayor to help out his brother-in-law.
Then we’re going to have to agree to disagree – unless someone finds evidence that Katyal knew and approved in advance of Rosen’s piece. But I will freely admit that I am not objective where Katyal is concerned – I think he’s a fucking hero for his representation of Salim Hamdan.
Like everything that happens in Washington, it’s all part of the vast conspiracy to spite Glenn Greenwald personally while simultaneously affirming his sense of papal infallibility.
Prof. Katyal would make a hell of an SG. They won’t actually need to confirm him for some time, just have him work as Acting SG until they think the path’s clear. But I thought there was never much doubt that he was expected to move up to SG at some point, in advance of an appointment to the bench.
He’s only 40, he’s smart as hell, and he’s liberal. We should be so lucky.
Jeffrey Rosen has weighed in on the Kagan choice:
Let’s see. Katyal is currently Deputy Solicitor General. Kagan was on a list of potential Supremes since Obama won the nomination. That a Deputy SG might get a promotion is kind of a no-brainer.
Where’s the story here?
Nasty stuff gets posted by all kinds of people, including Greenwald, who imagines himself to be in kind of informal progressive advise and consent role, subjecting potential candidates to a liberal purity litmus test.
Perhaps the only thing that is really news here is the degree to which the previously behind-the-scenes nastiness is out there for all to see.
@Exurban Mom: Oh my.
OMG, Milbank used to write for The New Republic?
Yes, I think the Cheneys have ensured that Katyal is not going to get this position.