Senate Panel Likely to OK Kagan for Supreme Court Despite Abortion Issues
by Steven Ertelt
July 1, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Despite her extreme pro-abortion views and questions about whether or not she manipulated the opinion of two medical organizations on partial-birth abortions, Elena Kagan appears headed towards a supportive confirmation vote from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
However, once her nomination reaches the floor, at least one senator says a filibuster is possible because of her abortion support and for other political reasons.
As LifeNews.com reported Wednesday, members of the panel queried Kagan on a memo she wrote during the Clinton administration that appeared to have her pressuring ACOG to adopt new language on partial-birth abortions.
Kagan eventually admitted she wrote the memo, after initially appearing to not know which document to which Senator Orrin Hatch was referring. But she denied either altering or coercing ACOG into changing its opinion saying partial-birth abortions are never necessary to protect the medical health of women.
Kagan has also come under fire from the pro-life group Americans United for Life for emails suggesting she and other Clinton administration officials took part in an effort to persuade the American Medical Association to change its view that partial-birth abortions are never medically indicated for women.
Other than abortion and questions on the Commerce Clause, the committee hearings have been tagged by political observers and the media as an uninteresting affair.
And when members of the Democrat-controlled committee vote, Kagan will likely be approved on a party-line vote — with the possible exceptions of pro-abortion Democratic Sen. Arlen Specter and pro-life Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham.
You have followed the pattern which has been invoked since [Robert] Bork, Specter said, with evident disappointment. It would be my hope we find someplace between voting no and having some sort of substantive answers.
Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, a pro-life advocate who more strenuously opposes Kagan than some of the other Republicans on the committee, says he won’t rule out a filibuster on the Senate floor.
I wouldn’t rule out a filibuster, he told ABC News, saying Kagan is a judicial activist.
Look, my two main concerns are : We’re in trouble as a nation, and one of the reasons we’re in trouble is the expansion of the federal government into areas that our Founders never thought we should be in. And we have a nominee to the Supreme Court that is fully embracing that and with no limits," he said.
"The second point I would make, again, is that she believes precedent trumps original intent. And she defended that. And so that — both those things are very concerning — should be very concerning to the American people," Coburn added.
During the hearings, Kagan rejected suggestions that she pushed Clinton and his administration towards a more pro-abortion position.
Its not true. I had no agenda with respect to this issue, she said.
It just is a bit disturbing that you, quite frankly, say you don’t have an agenda when you should have, Graham responded. The record is replete here. … You were pushing the envelope in terms of the left side of the aisle.
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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