Cars, Elena Kagan, Politics, SCOTUS, Screw-Ups, Supreme Court

Finally, an Elena Kagan Scandal: A Hit-and-Run Car Accident!

The Senate confirmation vote on Elena Kagan’s nomination to the Supreme Court has been pushed back one week, to July 20. This gives the Republicans more time to try and persuade a few Democrats to vote against Lady Kaga.

As they try to win over Democrats, the Senate Republicans have some new fodder: a Kagan-related scandal! A hit-and-run car accident, involving thousands of dollars in damage! To a minivan — owned by the mother of a disabled child!

Alas, the Divine Miss K wasn’t at the wheel. Who was?

Before we get to the driver, let’s discuss the noteworthy passenger who was being ferried around in this wheeled menace. He’s a sitting government official, as well as a Democratic candidate for statewide office here in New York. The New York Post has the (richly ironic) details:

State Sen. Eric Schneiderman — a candidate for attorney general, the highest law-enforcement post in New York — was involved in a minor car accident outside the New York 1 studios in Chelsea and then fled the scene, the cable news station reported last night.

NY1 said the Upper West Side Democrat was a passenger in a car driven by a staffer who sideswiped a vehicle parked in front of her on Ninth Avenue Monday night and pulled away without leaving a note.

Hitting a parked car, then leaving the scene? Who could be responsible for such wrongdoing? Please tell us, oh New York Times:

A spokesman for Mr. Schneiderman said the car’s driver was a staff member, Rachel Kagan, 22, the niece of Elena Kagan, the Supreme Court nominee.

Rachel Kagan

Rachel probably grew up in Manhattan, so we’ll give her a pass on the poor driving. But leaving the scene of an accident? That’s problematic.

In fact, it’s more than problematic: Rachel Kagan may have engaged in unethical and illegal conduct! And she is a blood relation of Elena Kagan! This kind of s**t runs in families! Desperate and pathetic Republican opponents of Elena Kagan, are you paying attention?

Sadly, nobody was injured. But the damage to the parked vehicle was considerable:

The damaged car’s owner, Melissa Rabinovich, an executive editor for NY1, said it had $3,000 in damage: a cracked bumper, a damaged back panel and a cracked left taillight. She filed a police report and called Mr. Schneiderman’s office on Tuesday after tracing the license plate, which a witness had noted.

“He said he was sorry for the bump to my car, and I told him it wasn’t a bump,” Ms. Rabinovich said. “He went on to explain to me that the female who was driving the car was crying and he was sorry. I told him I was crying when I saw the damage.”

This Melissa Rabinovich sounds pretty snarky. Is she a Republican operative? She’s certainly playing up the damage caused by that dangerous Rachel Kagan — yes, KAGAN, K-A-G-A-N, daughter of one of Elena Kagan’s two brothers. Said Rabinovich:

“I have three children under 7, including a 4-year-old who is severely disabled and doesn’t walk. This minivan is our lifeline of transportation for him.”

Elena Kagan hates the disabled!!! The NRA needs to get that on bumper stickers, stat.

Alex Pareene — now at Salon, formerly at Gawker and Wonkette (where I worked with him) — is taking bets on the first Republican to try to use this against Elena Kagan. Any ideas? Toss out names in the comments.

Elena Kagan’s niece crashes New York Dem candidate into reporter’s car, drives off
[War Room / Salon]
Senator Riding in Car During What Witnesses Call Hit-Run [New York Times]
Furor at top pol’s ‘hit run’ [New York Post]
Kagan foes court Senate Dems [Politico via WSJ Law Blog]

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