Context

I drove through Atlanta, Georgia once at 8 a.m. The day was bright and sunny, the weather was seasonal, and there were no winds, natural disasters, or unusual news. In the eight lanes of traffic  there were only two other cars visible. Nothing unusual was going on, so where was the traffic? It was January 1, New Year’s Day. Most people were asleep.

Elena Kagan is currently being questioned for nomination as part of the Supreme Court nomination process. She was asked where she was last Christmas. The news touted this as a frivolous question.

The handling of the Christmas Day bombing attempt by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab was criticized by many. Kagan, as Solicitor General, perhaps should have been involved in the process of getting Abdulmutallab out of the civilian legal system, where he had the right to remain silent, into the hands of military questioners. We are at war and this was an attack. The question was only frivolous if the context is ignored.

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