Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan Attacked Pro-Life Advocates in 1980 Essay

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 11, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan Attacked Pro-Life Advocates in 1980 Essay

by Steven Ertelt Editor
May 11
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — An essay that Obama Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan wrote in 1980 has been unearthed and it provides some insight into her view of pro-life advocates. The article she wrote for the Daily Princetonian a week after Ronald Reagan’s victory in the 1980 election has Kagan disparaging pro-life advocates.

Reagan won a landslide victory over President Jimmy Carter and Kagan’s essay lamented that victory and had her hoping for a “more leftist left” in the 1984 elections.

“Even after the returns came in, I found it hard to conceive of the victories of these anonymous but Moral Majority-backed opponents" of certain pro-abortion candidates, Kagan wrote.

She called them "avengers of ‘innocent life’" who were "beneficiaries of a general turn to the right and a profound disorganization on the left.”

Douglas Johnson, the legislative director of the National Right to Life Committee noticed the comment and the scare quotes around the phrase "innocent life" — clearly inferring that pro-life advocates have a misread on the moral status of unborn children.

"Kagan may have betrayed a possible personal animus towards the pro-life movement in a 1980 essay lamenting Republican gains in the 1980 election, in which she referred disparagingly to [pro-life candidates]," Johnson told

"Was Ms. Kagan so dismissive of the belief that unborn children are members of the human family that she felt it necessary to put the term ‘innocent life’ in quote marks, or does she have another explanation?" Johnson wondered.

"Would she be able to set aside any animus she has towards those who fight to protect innocent human life, when reviewing laws duly enacted for that purpose?" he asked.

Because the record makes it appear Kagan has a strongly pro-abortion position, Johnson says the Senate has an obligation to probe that in committee hearings.

He said "senators have an obligation to probe whether Elena Kagan will tolerate limits on abortion, enacted through normal democratic channels, or will seek to impose extreme pro-abortion views by judicial decree."

"Kagan herself argued forcefully in 1995, in a lengthy book review published in the University of Chicago Law Review, that such inquiries by senators are a legitimate and necessary part of the confirmation process," Johnson added.

"There are troubling indications that Ms. Kagan generally favors an activist, results-oriented approach to constitutional law," he concluded.

Other pro-life groups also oppose Kagan and say she has little experience.

Related web sites:
Petition Against Kagan –
Facebook: Stop Kagan

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