While certainly left of center, Kagan has a more moderate record than other potential nominees. She’s attracted the ire of Glenn Greenwald and the tepid support of the president’s liberal base. Issues like her work on the Citizens United case, where she was at the center of a controversy over the government’s ability to ban books, could come up:
But given that the opposition will be overwhelmingly from the right, I’d expect roughly 75% of Kagan’s hearing to be about ROTC-related stuff, the sort of thing which plays for the base but accomplishes nothing more.
This is a safe, moderate choice for Obama. It makes one wonder whether the White House added up the numbers on a more divisive candidate, such as Wood, and found them lacking? Kagan may be a more moderate justice than Stevens, and in the future, the left may remember this nomination as a missed opportunity to more dramatically shift the court.