Kagan Called Judicial Activist in Supreme Court Hearing, Democrats Cite Lack of Record
by Steven Ertelt
June 28, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is drawing strong condemnation from Republicans on the Judiciary Committee in their opening statements on the first day of her nomination hearings. Even Democrats are pointing out she has little record on which to examine her judicial philosophy.
Jeff Sessions, the pro-life Alabama senator who is the lead GOP member of the committee, minced no words today in his opening statement.
"Kagan has never tried a case before a jury. She argued her first appellate case just nine months ago," he said. "She has barely practiced law, and not with the intensity and duration from which real understanding occurs."
"Kagan has less real legal experience of any nominee in at least fifty years. Its not just that she has never been a judge," he continued. "Kagan certainly has numerous talents and good qualities, but there are serious concerns about this nomination."
Sessions also pounded Kagan on abortion, saying "Kagan was also the point person for the Clinton Administrations efforts to block Congressional restrictions on partial-birth abortions."
"No individual … should be confirmed as a judge if she doesn’t understand that the judges role is to fairly settle disputes of law," Sessions added. "[T]throughout her career, Ms. Kagan has associated herself with well-known activist judges. These judges don’t deny activism; they advocate it. And they openly oppose the idea of a judge as a neutral umpire."
Kagan herself said she is qualified and said she would have an even-handed temperment on the Supreme Court. She said she would give "nothing less than a fair shake for every American."
She talked abotu how the Supreme Court safeguards "the rule of law, through a commitment to even-handedness, principle, and restraint."
Even pro-abortion Wisconsin Democrat Herb Kohl recognized some problems with Kagan, saying "your judicial philosophy is almost invisible to us."
"We have less evidence about what sort of judge you will be than on any nominee in recent memory," he said.
Senator Orrin Hatch joined in, asking Kagan, "Will you let the Constitution control you or will you try to control the Constitution?"
But pro-abortion Sen. Diane Feinstein of California said that if the biggest criticism of Kagan is that she has never been a judge, she said she finds that a "refreshing" development.
Meanwhile, pro-life Sen. Jon Kyl of Arizona called out the American Bar Association for calling Kagan well-qualified despite her not meeting their requisite 12 years of legal experience. Kyl argues judging Kagan’s fitness may "be more difficult" because of lack of judicial experience.
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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