Senate Debates Nomination of Pro-Abortion Supreme Court Pick Elena Kagan
by Steven Ertelt
August 3, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Members of the Senate began their debate today on the nomination of pro-abortion activist Elena Kagan to replace retiring pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. Two things appear likely: that Kagan will secure enough votes and that she will become a judicial activist.
But that didn’t stop lawmakers from exposing her judicial activist background.
"It is all but certain," pro-life Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama said, "that, if confirmed, Ms. Kagan will bring to the [Court] a progressive activist judicial philosophy which holds that unelected judges are empowered to set national policy from the bench."
Sessions said she lacks "real world" experience and would be tempted to engage in "political spin" from the high court.
"Her testimony [before the Senate Judiciary Committee] lacked clarity, accuracy and the kind of intellectual honesty you would look for from someone who sits on such a high court," he said.
The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-6 in favor of and the Senate vote expected on Thursday will also likely be favorable.
Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, worries the Senate will easily confirm Kagan and put another abortion advocate on the high court.
"In all of American history, only 111 justices have had the privilege of serving on the U.S. Supreme Court. By the end of this week, members of the Senate will have made their decision on the 112th," he said. "If it is Elena Kagan, the President’s controversial Solicitor General, she will most likely join this elite club with the third fewest confirmation votes of any nominee in history."
"Whether it was rewriting a medical group’s opinion to promote infanticide or intentionally fixing a case to sink marriage, Kagan has proven that she will always ignore the law if it conflicts with her ultra-Left philosophy (or career goals)," he said. "She may have zero experience as a judge, but the White House believes that she has plenty where it matters most: in years of pro-abortion, anti-American activism."
Every Democratic senator is expected to vote for Kagan except Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, who mostly votes pro-life.
Nelson said Kagan’s lack of a judicial record made it impossible for him to support her. Because of his opposition, Kagan is the first nominee put forward by a Democratic president to face opposition from a Democratic senator since 1968.
Republicans are expected to oppose her nomination except pro-abortion Maine Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe as well as pro-life Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and Richard Lugar of Indiana.
During the committee hearings, pro-life groups say Kagan was not forthright when she downplayed the extent to which she lobbied two medical organizations to change their opinion on when partial-birth abortions are medically necessary.
Kagan’s lobbying resulted in the Supreme Court, in a case striking down state partial-birth abortion bans, eventually relying on the opinion of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that, after Kagan’s prodding, changed its opinion to say some abortions may be medically indicated.
Yet, during the confirmation hearings, Kagan dismissed questions about memos she wrote during the Clinton administration, saying "My only dealings with ACOG were about talking with them about how to ensure that their statement expressed their views."
A coalition of pro-life groups has issued a letter to senators asking for a thorough investigation of Kagan and calling for a probe into her comments about partial-birth abortion.
A nominee to the highest court in the land must meet our nations absolute highest standards of integrity and impartiality, said Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life Action and the main sponsor of the letter.
With serious outstanding questions clouding Ms. Kagans nomination, we are leading a united effort to ask that the Senate investigate discrepancies between her Senate testimony and the written record on partial-birth abortion before proceeding to a floor vote," she told LifeNews.com today.
Kagan claimed in her hearing "there was no way in which I would have or could have intervened with ACOG …. to get it to change its medical views on the question." Instead, she claimed she was trying to get ACOG to issue a statement that "accurately reflected the views" the organization had reportedly already expressed.
But the coalition letter says that conflicts with the account Kagan provided Clinton officials in a letter about her June 1996 meeting with ACOG.
Kagan wrote that the meeting was "something of a revelation" because ACOG officials informed her that, in the "vast majority of cases, selection of the partial-birth abortion procedure is not necessary to avert serious adverse consequences to a woman’s health."
By December, Kagan wrote a memo saying that if ACOG didn’t change its position it would be a "disaster" for Clinton, who went on to veto the partial-birth abortion ban claiming it was needed to protect women’s health.
She drafted a statement ACOG eventually adopted saying partial-birth abortions "may be the best or most appropriate in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman." That was the statement the Supreme Court eventually relied on to overturn state bans on the abortion procedure.
Kagan also sought to influence the American Medical Association and get the AMA to revise its opinion that partial-birth abortions provide no medical benefit for women.
Earlier this month, AUL released a 54-page report examining Kagans role in manipulating the medical statements of the two groups.
Later, former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop issued an open letter to the Senate calling for Kagans nomination to be rejected and pointing to the AUL Action report as a resource on this critical issue.
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.
ACTION: Contact your senators here and urge a no vote on Kagan’s nomination and tell them to filibuster her.
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