Elena Kagan

Kagan's take on just how much power Congress has

Although she has spent most of her time before the Senate Judiciary Committee avoiding giving direct answers to questions, there have been a few exchanges which shed some light on her thoughts on some pretty important issues, (or confirm suspicions, as the case may be).

The exchange below was between Kagan and Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, which touches on Kagan's thoughts on the constitutional limits on the power of Congress.

Coburn: If I wanted to sponsor a bill and it said Americans, you have to eat three vegetables and three fruits every day and I got it through Congress and that’s now the law of the land, got to do it, does that violate the Commerce Clause?

Kagan: Sounds like a dumb law.

Coburn: Yeah, but I got one that’s real similar to it that I think is equally dumb. I’m not going to mention which it is.

Kagan: But I think that the question of whether it’s a dumb law is different from whether the question of whether it’s constitutional and I think that courts would be wrong to strike down laws that they think are senseless just because they’re senseless.

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Kagan favors "health" exception for abortion

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan may have accidentally shed some light on her views on abortion by confirming that she supports "health" exceptions to abortion legislation.

Of course abortion advocates usually try to include "health" exceptions in anti-abortion legislation as a way of making the legislation meaningless, as the exceptions almost invariably tend to be large enough as to include anything that deviates from normal, including emotions. 

For her part, Kagan essentially stated that she's just fine with that.  (via LifeNews)

During questioning today, pro-abortion Sen. Diane Feinstein of California asked Kagan, "Do you believe that the constitution requires that the health of the mother be upheld?"

"With respect to abortion generally, I think that the continuing holdings of the Court are that a woman's life and women's health must be protected in any abortion legislation," Kagan responded.

Of course this is the exact opposite conclusion drawn by the Supreme Court in 2007 when it upheld the current ban on partial-birth abortion, (which does not have a "health" exception).

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AUDIO: Kagan challenged by Supreme Court conservatives over anti-free speech positions

The clip below is a recording from oral argument before the Supreme Court in the Citizens United case, which pitted the government's campaign finance laws vs. the free speech of unions and corporations in political campaigns.  The case was ultimately decided in favor of free speech by a 5 to 4 margin.  Which tells you all you need to know about how tenuous our free speech rights really are.

The audio of Kagan's argument in favor of restricting free speech rights, (including defending the government's right to ban pamphlets if it so chose), should tell you all you need to know about Kagan.

But if you do need more, feel free to view our Kagan Fact Sheet.  And pass it on!

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Kagan hearings offer an opportunity

As the Senate Judiciary Committee gets set to start its confirmation hearings for Elena Kagan, the question is no whether she'll eventually be cleared by the committee, (given that it has a majority of Democrats), but whether Republicans will use the hearings as an opportunity to point out her record.  Or even promote a REAL discussion about the proper role of judges in our government.

In the past, Kagan commented that such hearings are usually a farce and that the public doesn't learn much about where judges are really coming from.  Truer words...  So how does she feel about being forthcoming on the issues now??

Republicans should press the issue and ask direct questions and demand direct answers.  Here's a short preview of a longer list of issues they should force her to address:

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Confirmed: Kagan's a liberal (suprise!)

Newly released memos from her days as a law clerk confirm what conservatives have suggested all along - that Elena Kagan is a political liberal whose views are outside of the mainstream in America.  And they are a stark reminder for all Americans that elections have consequences.

Just when poll after poll confirms that Americans are becoming more conservative as well as more pro-life, we're faced with a potential lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of someone who would likely use the power of the court to interpret and apply the Constitution in such a way as to move the country in the opposite direction.

Via CBS:

...while working as a law clerk to the late Justice Thurgood
Marshall - made her positions clear on some of the nation's most contentious social issues.

The documents, buried in Marshall's papers in the Library of Congress, show Kagan standing
shoulder-to-shoulder with the liberal left,
at a time when the
Rehnquist Supreme Court was moving to the conservative right...

The Marshall documents are legal memos summarizing cases the Court
had been asked to consider. They cover the spectrum of hot-button
social issues: abortion, civil rights, gun rights, prisoners' rights
and the constitutional underpinnings for recognizing gay marriage...

Support for Kagan dropping

It seems that the more time that passes since President Obama's nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, the lower her measure of support tallies among the American people.

The latest Rasmussen poll shows that 47% of Americans hold an unfavorable view of Kagan, with only 41% favoring her - putting her upsidedown by six points.  And that's up four points in the last few weeks, which would seem to indicate that the more the public learns about her, the less they like the idea of her serving a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court.

Add that to the latest poll from USA Today which confirms her low levels of support, showing only 46% of respondents saying that they would "like to see the Senate vote in favor" of her nomination.  By contrast, at this point in their own nominations, Sotomayor was at 55%, Alito at 54% and Roberts at 60%.

Most likely, this has to do with the fact that more people are finding out more information about her views (on abortion, for example) and her liberal record.

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Conservative cheat-sheet on Kagan?

With Obama'a nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to fill Justice Stevens' seat on the high court, the commentary is all over the map.  Some of the most interesting criticism is the supposed liberal complaints that she's not liberal enough.  Uh-huh.  Sounds a lot like the folks in the White House spin lounge are trying to make conservatives feel better by making them think liberals are worried she'll be their version of David Souter.

Not buying it.

On the right side of the aisle, there's plenty to be concerned about, as David Weigel point out today...

Solicitor General Nominee, Elena Kagan, Radical Who Fought Against Military Recruiting and ROTC Presence in American Schools

Obama's nominee for Solicitor General, Elena Kagan, is a radical leftist who fought against the United States' military recruiting and ROTC on America's college and high school campuses - Incredibly, she is being considered for the U.S. Supreme Court

 

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