“Now Playing For Center Court”

Time Magazine, May 24, 2010, by Jeffrey Rosen

“President Obama calls Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan a ‘consensus builder’. But can she really end decades of partian judicial warfare?”

“Obama seems to feel that Kagan’s inclication to find common ground between liberals and conservatives will equip her to achieve consensus on the Supreme Court, winning over swing Justice Anthony Kennedy and moving the court to the center.”

The title is a brilliant double or triple play on words:

First, the idiomatic or metaphorical use: center court in tennis is the most important in a tennis complex. It is where the best players play.

Second, the U.S. Supreme Court is the most important federal court; Ms. Kagan has been appointed by President Obama. She is an important player, but must win the appointment by Senatorial approval.  She is in the news; she is in center court.

Third, President Obama and his advisors hope Ms. Kagan, if appointed, can move the Supreme Court to the center.

Note: “double or triple play” as used by me above refers to word play. However, it is also used in the idiomatic sense as a metaphorical reference to baseball when the defensive ball team gets two or three outs in a single play.  Two outs happen often; triple outs are very unusual and only occur two or three times in a baseball season.  In business it could be a reference to eliminating two business opponents in one deal.  In love relationships one could get rid of two annoying girls or boyfriends at one time by writing clever letters to each.


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