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    Op-Ed at Guardian (UK): Privacy on parade

    At the Guardian, Peter Preston discusses in an opinion column the question of privacy and U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

    Barack Obama has a supreme court vacancy to fill. He wants Kagan, his solicitor general, to get the job: and, since she’s only 50, she’d have a long time in office to help lay down American law. It’s an important appointment, inevitably requiring intense scrutiny on Capitol Hill. But what’s on and off the record?

    The blogosphere has one rackety question about Kagan. Is she a lesbian – and if she is, shouldn’t we be told? […]

    Yet what is The Issue, precisely? Some who want Kagan ratified argue that lesbianism makes her a more important addition to the court. Remember, millions of American lesbian and gay people are citizens with full rights, too. Shouldn’t they have a voice in high judicial places? […]

    Can invasions of privacy include wildly wrong speculation? Intrusion implies a measure of fact revealed – but what if there’s no fact on offer? Lesbian and gay bloggers want others to come out, but what if those to be outed aren’t what they assume? The Kagan problem seems crudely intractable: it assumes because she’s middle-aged and unmarried, she must have something to hide.

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