Poll Has Support for Supreme Court Pick Elena Kagan Lower Than Past Nominees
by Steven Ertelt
May 27, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new USA Today poll shows the level of support for the Supreme Court nomination of pro-abortion Solicitor General Elena Kagan is lower than the support for any of the five previous Supreme Court nominees to be confirmed. Whether that will translate into fewer votes for her nomination remains to be seen.
The survey, taken Monday and Tuesday, shows 46 percent would "like to see the Senate vote in favor" of Kagan’s nomination.
That’s lower than the 60 percent who supported Chief Justice John Roberts or the 58 percent Clarence Thomas received in 1991.
Sonia Sotomayor had the support of 55 percent of Americans in the same USA Today poll, Samuel Alito had the support of 54 percent and Ruth Bader Ginsburg was favored by 53% of Americans.
In the new survey, 32% of Americans opposed Kagan’s nomination — which is also a higher level than any of the past confirmed nominees except for Sotomayor, who faced opposition of 36 percent.
The 46-32 percent who favor Kagan’s nomination differs from the Rasmussen Reports poll showing 36 percent of voters supporting her nomination and 39 percent opposing confirmation.
With Senate hearings on Kagans nomination set to begin June 28, Rasmussen had 25 percent of likely voters undecided.
The Rasmussen survey also found 41% of U.S. voters now hold a favorable opinion of Kagan but 47% view her unfavorably, up from 43% a week ago and 39% just after President Obama announced her nomination.
Opinion is moving away from Kagan as, in the previous two surveys, voters have been tied over the question of confirmation. Two weeks ago, 33% said Kagan should be confirmed, 33% disagreed, and 34% were undecided. Last week, 39% supported Kagans confirmation, while 39% were opposed and 22% were not sure.
The results show 15 percent have a very favorable view of the Supreme Court nominee while 23 percent regard her very unfavorably.
This, too, marks a shift from the first survey when Kagans very unfavorable rating stood at 18 percent and her very favorable rating stood at 17 percent.
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. She attacked pro-life advocates in a 1980 essay and has a history of working for pro-abortion judges and politicians.
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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