Support for Pro-Abortion Elena Kagan Trails Previous Supreme Court Nominees
by Steven Ertelt
June 4, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — New Gallup polling data shows the level of support for pro-abortion Supreme Court pick Elena Kagan trails previous Supreme Court nominees. While Gallup has a plurality of Americans supporting the Kagan nomination, other polls have shown a plurality does not back Kagan.
Gallup’s new survey, released today, has 46 percent of Americans backing President Barack Obama’s selection of the abortion activist and 32 percent in opposition.
That level of support is generally lower than Gallup polls at this point in the nomination process for the last several nominees.
Sonia Sotomayor, the first abortion advocate Obama put on the Supreme Court, enjoyed a 54-28 percent approval last year.
The two Supreme Court justices pro-life President George W. Bush put on the court also had higher approval levels: with Samuel Alito getting 50-25 percent support in the Gallup poll ahead of his hearings and John Roberts receiving 59-22 percent support.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the pro-abortion justice, had support of 53-14 percent while pro-life Justice Clarence Thomas enjoyed 52-17 percent.
Only Harriet Miers and Robert Bork had levels of support less than Kagan has currently.
Looking at the polling data another way, analyzing only those Americans who expressed an opinion one way or the other and discounting the high number of undecided Americans, Kagan still has one of the lowest levels of support.
"The 59% of those with an opinion of the Kagan nomination who support her confirmation exceeds only the 55% of those with an opinion of the Miers and Bork nominations who supported their confirmations," Gallup notes.
The generally tepid response to Kagan’s nomination echoes what Gallup found in its immediate-reaction poll to her nomination last month, when 40% rated President Obama’s choice of her positively.
In the latest poll, Gallup found Democrats largely support Kagan’s nomination, with 68% in favor and 12% opposed. On the other hand, a slim majority of Republicans, 51%, are opposed, with 26% in favor. Independents are more likely to favor than oppose the nomination.
"Kagan, seeking to become the third woman on the current Supreme Court, and the fourth in history, receives about equal support from men (45%) and women (47%), though men are more likely than women to oppose her confirmation (36% to 28%)," Gallup indicates.
A late May poll from Rasmussen Reports, of likely voters, found more American voters say they have an unfavorable view of pro-abortion Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan than a favorable one.
It showed 41% of U.S. voters held a favorable opinion of Kagan but 47% viewed her unfavorably, up from 43% a week ago and 39% just after President Obama announced her nomination.
It had voters disapproving of Kagan’s nomination by a 39-36 percent margin with 25 percent of voters undecided.
Kagan’s Senate confirmation hearings are set to begin later this month.
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. She clerked for pro-abortion Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and wrote a memo urging him to support taxpayer-funded abortions.
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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