Gallup Poll: Pro-Abortion Kagan’s Numbers Lower Than Past Supreme Court Picks
by Steven Ertelt
August 4, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll released by Gallup finds pro-abortion Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan enjoys less support from the American public than recent Supreme Court nominees. The numbers come as the Senate has started debate on her nomination, which will likely be confirmed in a vote on Thursday.
The survey finds Americans support Kagan’s nomination, but with numbers that are much lower than they did prior nominees for the nation’s highest court that authorized 52 million abortions.
According to the poll, 46% of Americans support Kagan’s nomination while 36% would prefer a no vote and 18 percent are undecided.
The 46% support for Kagan is lower than the 55 percent who backed Obama’s last nominee, pro-abortion Sonia Sotomayor, before her confirmation vote.
It is also lower than the pre-confirmation support of the two justices President George W. Bush placed on the Supreme Court: Samuel Alito, who received the support of 54 percent, and John Roberts, who enjoyed the support of 60 percent.
Despite the lower numbers, Democrats enjoy high numbers in the Senate and will likely confirm Kagan despite the defection of Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska.
They will be supported by five Republicans who will vote for Kagan, including normally pro-life Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Richard Lugar of Indiana, Judd Gregg of New Hampshire and pro-abortion Maine Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.
Members of the Senate began their debate yesterday and top Republicans exposed Kagan’s judicial activist background during their statements on the floor.
"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.
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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