Judicial Expert: Memo Makes it Clear Elena Kagan Would Back Roe, Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
June 7, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Last week, a legal memo Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan authored during her time as a law clerk for pro-abortion Justice Thurgood Marshall received new attention. One early analysis from a pro-life legal group suggests the memos show Kagan’s pro-abortion mindset.
Americans United for Life, which brought up the memo weeks earlier, said they show Kagan will promote abortion on the high court, if confirmed.
Now, another judicial expert, Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network, concurs with that analysis.
She says the "Kagan documents may give insight into her studiously guarded record."
One of the documents relates to a case of a prisoner who wanted her state to use taxpayer funds to pay for her abortion. Kagan expressed her concern to Marshall that the Supreme Court would use the case to finally place some limits on abortion.
"This case is likely to become the vehicle that this court uses to create some very bad law on abortion and/or prisoners’ rights," she wrote in the 1988 memo, and recommended Marshall vote against reviewing the case.
Severino writes that Kagan felt it was "incorrect" for the federal appeals court to suggest that he state should pay for inmates abortions because the general public didn’t have the same "right" to taxpayer-financed abortions.
Writing at National Review, Severino says Kagan’s response indicates "she was political in her recommendations to her boss even if she thought a case below was wrong, she was more concerned about the direction in which the law would be shifted than about doing justice in an individual case or taking on a case that might go the wrong way."
Also, "we can see from her statements that she viewed a court backing away from abortion rights or prisoner rights as a step in the wrong direction."
Severino continues: "It is often said that hard cases make bad law, and she worried that deciding these cases against the women inmates might go farther than she or her justice would have gone in limiting these rights."
"For those who weren’t already confident in her proRoe v. Wade position, this should be a clear signal," the judicial expert concludes.
In response to the memo, Americans United for Life said "Kagans memo reveals her pro-abortion sympathies, her inconsistent statements about the role of a Supreme Court clerk, and her desire to put policy above the law.
"Kagans belief that the lower courts decision was ‘well-intentioned’ indicates she thought a ruling expanding abortion rights was a good thing, even if she thought it was wrong on the law," it added.
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