"Apparently her main accomplishment as dean at Harvard was raising a lot of money, which, given that it's the Harvard Law School, sounds roughly as impressive as managing to sell a lot of pot at a Grateful Dead concert."

Okay, that's a bit harsh but I also found it very amusing and is but one of the critiques of Elena Kagan in this article by University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos. He rather provocatively suggests that Kagan may be the next Harriet Miers, but he puts forward a reasonable argument as to why that could be the case.

Now, I'm going to take the highly courageous stand of waiting to see how Kagan handles the committee hearings and other public appearances before I take a firm position on her qualifications, but I am beginning to think this is less of a slam dunk than everyone thinks it is. For me, it has nothing to do with her lack of experience as a judge. Chief Justice Rehnquist was, after all, never a judge and that worked out fine. No, it has to do with the almost gushing adoration over her legal mind and her brilliant academic work and then the strangely small amount of actual academic publication.

I don't claim to know how much scholarly work is appropriate, and I understand that being Dean of Harvard Law is a full-time job. Still, I'm amazed that in this list of academic work there is nothing on the Patriot Act or detainee rights or presidential war powers. One would think that given the last nine years of the War on Terror would prompt the Dean of the most prestigious law school in the world to write something, anything, about executive power.

Maybe I'm expecting too much - and for those readers with greater expertise in this area, please let me know - but there just seems to be a lot less there than I thought would, and should, be. It could be that the hype is just too much to live up to, but I don't think that is the case. Elena Kagan is the former Dean of Harvard Law. She is the Solicitor General of the United States, one would expect her to be one of the top minds of her generation. How does her scholarly work compare with that of the last Solicitor General, Ted Olson or that of previous SCOTUS nominees?

Couple this with Althouse's skeptical view of Kagan's performance before the Court and I'm beginning to wonder if this was just a super-safe pick by President Obama. An effort to avoid any real controversy. There are certainly a lot of questions yet to be answered.