Fight! Lessig: Greenwald needs to check his hyperbole. Response: You’re ‘just wrong’


Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy In our case for/against Elena Kagan last night, Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald went first. Greenwald suggested that Kagan is too much of a blank slate for progressives to support and that she might pull the Supreme Court to the right. Next up was Lawrence Lessig, a Harvard Law professor and longtime friend of Kagan’s. As they say, Lessig came out swinging:

You know, I love Glenn Greenwald, I repeat his words all the time when I give lectures, as an activist legal scholar.
But the hyperbole in what Glenn is saying here is really something we have to check. He said right at the top of your show that there’s a complete blank slate here. That every substantial legal question she has left unanswered.
That is just absurd.
You might call those gentlemen’s fighting words. Lessig continued:    
She has written three extraordinarily important pieces mapping out a theory of the First Amendment. That was the first work she did as a scholar at the University of Chicago. And when she came to Harvard in 2000, she wrote what is, I think, one of the most important articles about presidential administration in the last 30 years.
Now, that’s two of maybe five central areas of what a justice has to think about that she already has what I think is an extraordinarily important theory. So, the idea that somehow she’s been sitting zephyr-like in a way that tries to hide what she`s saying is just silly. What she hasn’t done is what frankly people like I have done. What she hasn’t done is gone out there and blog and Twitter and been on the road talking about every single issue.
And, frankly, I’m not sure she made the wrong call because what she did by refocusing her energy when she came back to the Harvard Law School is to build an extraordinary institution and define a set of values which I think tell us an extraordinary amount about who this person would be as a Supreme Court justice.
This morning, Greenwald took to the Salons with a post that’s, you know, tough – both on Lessig and in its detailedness. The talking point’s all in the headline: “How people spew total falsehoods on TV.” For the rest, there’s the text. And the twitters. [Lawrence Lessig argues for Kagan on TRMS and again on HuffPo today and thwacks Greenwald anew] [Glenn Greenwald argues against her]

Glenn Greenwald and Elena Kagan

Fight! Lessig: Greenwald needs to check his hyperbole. Response: You're 'just wrong'