Dustup Over Elena Kagan Could Reveal Obama’s Intention for Supreme Court Nominee

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 16, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Dustup Over Elena Kagan Could Reveal Obama’s Intention for Supreme Court Nominee

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 16
, 2010

Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A dustup over one of the names on President Barack Obama’s short list for president has one political observer thinking Elena Kagan may become Obama’s pick to replace retiring pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. The aggressive posture of the White House in defending Kagan may reveal Obama’s intention.

The dustup began when CBS News posted a story on its web site containing allegations that Kagan is a lesbian.

The piece, written by embattled author Ben Domenech, who was fired from the Washington Post after plagiarism concerns, claimed some Democrats would be pleased if Obama chose Kagan because of she would become the "first openly gay justice."

Kagan’s sexual orientation has been the subject of a whisper campaign since her name made the short list of potential nominees.

CBS News initially refused to pull the story from its web site, prompting a fierce White House reaction.

Anita Dunn, a former White House communications director who is working with the administration on the high court vacancy, told Washington Post writer Howard Kurtz “The fact that they’ve chosen to become enablers of people posting lies on their site tells us where the journalistic standards of CBS are in 2010.”

And White House spokesman Ben LaBolt complained to CBS that the column “made false charges.”

Looking at the bigger picture, Greg Sargent of the Plum Line Blog says the posture of the Obama administration makes it appear to him that Kagan is either the likely nominee or definitely on the list of two or three people most likely to receive the Supreme Court nomination.

"CBS unquestionably deserved to take a hit for this. But what’s more interesting than CBS’s role is the White House’s aggressive response," he noted.

"People who follow the ins and outs of nomination battles closely are interpreting it as a sign that Kagan has a very good shot at being picked. As one of these people put it to me this morning, this is the most hard-hitting pushback by the White House to misinformation being spread about any nominee," Sargent says.

"A White House official told Kurtz that Kagan is not a lesbian. That won’t matter, of course; the whisper campaign from the right is likely to continue. But the White House has now signaled that they’re prepared to go to war against it," he concluded.

Kagan is an abortion advocate who GOP members of the Senate Judiciary Committee already indicated would spark a fierce battle in the Senate. https://www.lifenews.com/nat6236.html

Kagan was the dean of Harvard Law school and has spent most of her career in academia and government — in part as a legal counsel in the administration of pro-abortion President Bill Clinton –and prior to becoming the attorney for the Obama administration before the Supreme Court.

LifeNews.com spoke with Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, who said Kagan was Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton and Deputy Assistant to him for domestic policy — which, under Clinton, advocated abortion.

Kagan was credited by the ACLU with “shaping Clinton’s policy on hate crimes," Wright noted.

"The Clinton Administration treated pro-life activists like violent criminals, creating a task force in the Department of Justice and a grand jury to investigate peaceful pro-lifers. This raises serious concerns that she shares the hostile view that religious beliefs are a form of ‘hate,’" she said.

Kagan may be sympathetic to the views of internationalists, those who would impose international norms on Americans, including an unlimited abortion right.

"Abortion groups are actively attempting to create the impression that international norms require countries to provide access to abortion. During Kagan’s nomination hearing for Solicitor General, Senator Specter questioned her about the use of foreign sources of law in constitutional decision-making," Wright said.

Kagan said before: ""At least some members of the Court find foreign law relevant in at least some contexts. When this is the case, I think the Solicitor General’s office should offer reasonable foreign law arguments to attract these Justices’ support for the positions that the office is taking."

But Wright responded to LifeNews.com: "A Supreme Court justice needs to be absolutely committed to the Constitution, proficient in their knowledge and ability to make rock-solid arguments on the basis of the Constitution and federal laws. If Elena Kagan needs to rely on foreign sources, it is an admission that her arguments are weak or she is incapable of handling the requirements of the office."

Kagan has also come under criticism from Marjorie Dannenfelser, the president of the pro-life women’s group Susan B. Anthony List.

She told LifeNews.com previously, "In the past Kagan has been a strong supporter of the pro-abortion agenda. She has vigorously opposed the de-funding of taxpayer-funded clinics which promote abortions, despite the fact that a majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars to fund abortion providers."

Although pro-life advocates would strongly oppose Kagan’s nomination, one indication she could face an easier time is that she is already getting support from phony pro-life advocates who back President Barack Obama and his pro-abortion nominees.

Catholic scholar and Obama ambassador to Malta Douglas Kmiec told the Daily Caller that Kagan is "not my first choice" but called her fair-minded when it comes to conservative legal advocates.

Obama and Senate Democrats have the votes to push through a radical pro-abortion nominee but some political observers believe Obama will push for someone equally pro-abortion but perceived as moderate to avoid a bruising political fight before the November congressional elections.

Others, like pro-life advocate Gary Bauer, say a nominee will be more moderate because the replacement for Stevens will merely be a substitution of a like-minded liberal justice rather than putting an abortion advocate in the place of a conservative jurist.

"Here’s some good news. By replacing Stevens, Obama, thankfully, is not going to change the ideological balance of the Supreme Court," Bauer said. "Moreover, Senate liberals, many of whom need to be back in their states campaigning for reelection, are not looking forward to another high-profile fight."

The two other names that most observers agree are most likely to be nominated are federal judges with long records on the bench: Diane Wood from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and Merrick B. Garland from the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

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