Spin Cycle

News, views and commentary on Long Island, state and national politics.

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) still backs native New Yorker Elena Kagan’s bid to join the Supreme Court, even though she implicitly rebuked him in last week’s hearings.

Prodded by Republicans, Kagan repudiated a controversial 2003 Democratic filibuster that Schumer led against Miguel Estrada, a conservative Bush nominee to the D.C. appeals court. Estrada withdrew, losing a chance to become the first Latino Supreme Court justice.

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“He is qualified to sit as an appellate judge,” Kagan said of her Harvard Law classmate and friend. “He’s qualified to sit as a Supreme Court justice.”

Schumer’s unrepentant. It wasn’t Estrada’s resume or ideology,  it was his reticence. If you asked Estrada if the sky was blue, an aide said, “he refused to answer.”