From the 2010 News Archive
Prof. Ifill Discusses Kagan Nomination on MSNBC
Professor Sherrilyn Ifill
, a nationally recognized expert in the importance of judicial diversity and impartiality in judicial decision-making, appeared on
MSNBC with Chris Matthews on June 30
to discuss the confirmation hearings for Elena Kaganís nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Prof. Ifill discussed Senator Jeff Sessionsís contention that Kagan had circumvented the law and was disrespectful to the military when she limited military recruiters' access to campus as dean of Harvard Law School. Kagan repeatedly said Harvard was always in compliance with the law.
"Solicitor General Kagan did an excellent job of explaining the controversy," said Prof. Ifill. "I think what you heard was Jeff Sessionsís concern about looking like heís being bested."
Prof. Ifill is currently writing a book about race and the confirmation process. In her research, she has been reading every confirmation hearing since 1955, the year after Brown vs. Board of Education
She appeared on MSNBC with Andrea Mitchell on May 10
to discuss the Kagan nomination.
And in an April appearance on MSNBC
, Prof. Ifill stated the Supreme Court "confirmation process in many ways is broken. Ö The Judiciary Committee has to try to find a way to be more responsive to the U.S. public and the trust they have to find out where these candidates stand. They need to ask questions that are not just about affirmative action and about abortion, but to ask questions that will really get at whether these candidates are capable of being independent."
Prof. Ifill has written in the past that the Supreme Court should not be comprised exclusively of former federal court judges, but also include people with broader backgrounds, including state court judges, full-time law professors, former criminal defense attorneys, even civil practice trial lawyers.
Professor Ifill is also prominent in the areas of civil rights and voting rights. She has written about the history of racial violence and contemporary reconciliation efforts. Her book about truth and reconciliation commissions for lynching, On the Courthouse Lawn: Confronting the Legacy of Lynching in the 21st Century
, was released by Beacon Books in 2007.