Americans Still Divided on Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Pick Elena Kagan
by Steven Ertelt
May 18, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — New polling from Rasmussen finds Americans are still split on the nomination of pro-abortion Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. The same percentage oppose President Barack Obama’s selection as support it — which is consistent with the first poll Rasmussen took after the nomination.
The new survey finds 39% of voters believe Kagan should be confirmed by the Senate, while another 39% say she should not be confirmed. Another 22 percent are still undecided.
A week ago, immediately following Obama’s announcement, a Rasmussen Reports poll found 33% said she should be confirmed, 33% disagreed, and 34% were undecided.
Support for Kagans confirmation among Democrats has jumped dramatically over the past week from 47% to 68%. Opposition among Republicans has risen from 54% in the previous survey to 61%. Among voters not affiliated with either party, 32% favor confirmation, while 42% are opposed, up eight points from a week ago.
"By way of comparison, support for Kagans confirmation is a bit lower than support for Judge Sonia Sotomayor a week after her nomination. In both cases, support declined slightly in the week following the nomination," Rasmussen noted.
Virtually unchanged from last week is the finding that 83% of all voters think it is at least somewhat likely that Kagan will be confirmed, including 55% who say confirmation is very likely.
Kagans unfavorable ratings have risen slightly over the past week, Rasmussen shows as 43 percent now have at least a somewhat favorable opinion of the abortion advocate while 44% view her unfavorably. A week ago, those numbers were 45% favorable and 39% unfavorable.
The current numbers include 15% with a very favorable view of Kagan and 21% with a very unfavorable one.
Kagan, former dean of the Harvard Law School and current U.S. solicitor general, is now seen as ideologically liberal by 47% of voters, up from 43% a week ago. Thirty-two percent now say shes politically moderate, while just three percent view her as a conservative and 18 percent are unsure.
Seventy percent (70%) of conservative voters regard Kagan as a liberal, but 62% of liberals say shes a moderate.
Senate Republicans say they likely will not filibuster the nomination of pro-abortion Solicitor general Elena Kagan to replace retiring pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens. However, they promise tough hearings and questions in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The timetable for the nomination process to move through the Senate should resemble the one used to confirm pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. That had committee hearings and votes as well as a full Senate vote conclude by August, in time for the nominee to join the high court before its October session.
Kagan has a very clear pro-abortion record heading into that process, including recent information showing she donated to pro-abortion groups with ties to the Emily’s List organization that endorses pro-abortion candidates with the most extreme position favoring taxpayer funded abortions.
Obama’s nominee also wrote a memo during the Clinton adminsitration providing him political cover for his veto of a bill banning partial-birth abortions. And she attacked pro-life advocates in a 1980 essay.
Kagan, a former Harvard Law dean, is an ardent abortion advocate who, at 50, would leave a pro-abortion legacy for Obama on the Supreme Court for decades to come.
"Elena Kagan has strong ties to abortion-advocacy organizations and expressed admiration for activist judges who have worked to advance social policy rather than to impartially interpret the law," Charmaine Yoest, the president of Americans United for Life, told LifeNews.com.
She said her group would "oppose President Obama’s attempt to reshape the Court as an activist, pro-abortion institution through which unelected judges will work to impose an out-of-the-mainstream social agenda upon the American people."
Yoest called Kagan "an ardent abortion supporter" who fulfills Obama’s pledge to nominate a justice who strongly supports abortion.
Kagan has publicly and repeatedly criticized federal regulations that prohibited recipients of Title X family planning funds, taxpayer dollars, from counseling women to get abortions — arguing they amounted to the subsidization of "anti-abortion" speech.
She 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. Kagan was Associate Counsel to President Bill Clinton and Deputy Assistant to him for domestic policy — which, under Clinton, advocated abortion.
LifeNews.com spoke with Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, before the nomination.
Kagan was credited by the ACLU with shaping Clintons 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 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."
Kagan’s nomination confirmed the suspicion of many political observers that Obama decided to go with a radical left-wing nominee while Democrats control the Senate with a huge advantage that is expected to deteriorate after the November elections.
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