Republicans to Make Example of Kagan’s Judicial Activism During Senate Hearings
by Steven Ertelt
June 28, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Republicans have settled on a strategy when it comes to how to handle the hearings, starting today, on pro-abortion Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. They plan to ask her tough questions about comments she has made over the years supporting judicial activism, but they may not filibuster her nomination.
It is expected that GOP lawmakers, who lack the votes to stop her nomination outright and may not have enough to support a filibuster against her, may use the hearings as a "teachable moment" about the problems of judicial activism.
That’s the attitude that prompted the Supreme Court to allow unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason as a result of its Roe v. Wade decision that has yielded 52 million abortions in the decades since.
I think a recurrent theme will be: Here you have a person who has been deeply involved in policy-politics most of her life without a judicial record to demonstrate that she can put that behind her on the bench, Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, a pro-life member of the committee, told Politico.
And therefore shes got a burden of proof to find other ways to assure us that she will decide cases just based on the facts and not just based on the politics," he said.
As far as a filibuster is concerned, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, pro-life Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, said Sunday it is still on the table.
If things come out that indicate shes so far outside the mainstream, its conceivable a filibuster might occur, Sessions said on CBSs "Face the Nation."
But pro-life Utah Sen. Orrin hatch says he doesn’t believe Republicans will filibuster Kagan’s nomination.
"I don’t think anyone’s going to do that," Hatch said on MSNBC today. "After all, there’s 59 Democrats, and I suspect there’ll be a few Republicans who will vote for her regardless."
However, the death of pro-abortion Sen. Robert Byrd may change that as it makes it easier for GOP lawmakers to prevent Kagan supporters from coming up with the 60 votes they need to confirm her nomination.
At the same time, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a pro-life Democrat, could appoint a senator in time for Democrats to have a replacement in time for the Senate vote on Kagan — though the name of the replacement is unknown as is their potential view of Kagan’s nomination.
When it comes to the vote on the committee, Democrats are expected to support Kagan while Republicans will likely vote against her nomination for the high court.
However, two lawmakers could buck the partisan trend: Pro-abortion Democrat, and former Republican, Arlen Specter has voted against Kagan before and may do so again. A lame duck who was defeated for re-election, he has little incentive to play nice with a White House that largely abandoned his re-election bid.
Also, pro-life South Carolina Sen. Lyndsey Graham, a maverick on other political issues, takes the approach that presidents ought to have their Supreme Court nominees confirmed unless they are too far out of the mainstream. Whether Graham will see Kagan as too pro-abortion and too much of a judicial activist is still a question.
Pro-life groups have described Elena Kagan as the stereotypical judicial activist and abortion advocate.
She clerked for pro-abortion Justice Thurgood Marshall, whom she lauded, and her writings dating back to her college days are filled with accolades for judges who took the law into their hands and twisted it for a desired outcome rather than relying on the people through their elected officials.
Kagan helped Bill Clinton defend his veto of a partial-birth abortion ban — the gruesome abortion procedure when a baby is birthed halfway and then jabbed in the head with medical scissors, killing him or her. She helped Clinton find political cover for his decision to keep those abortions legal.
Kagan went as far as advocating that the Clinton administration not only ignore but manipulate the opinion of a national medical group that said there was never any medical justification for killing unborn children halfway out of the birth canal.
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