President Barack Obama nominated today the current Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, a move that drew concerns from pro-life advocates.
Kagan, 50, was dean of Harvard Law School before her ascent to solicitor general and will become the third woman on the High Court if confirmed by the Senate. She will also be the first individual in 38 years to join the Supreme Court without ever serving as a judge.
During the announcement at the White House's East Room earlier today, the nominee said she was “humbled” by this “honor of a lifetime,” according to the Associate Press.
President Obama lauded what he called Kagan's “fair mindedness” as well as her “openness to a broad array of viewpoints.”
Although the president praised her, Kagan's nomination has drawn concern from pro-life groups who are worried about her history of abortion advocacy.
“Elena Kagan has no judicial record from which to determine her position on Roe v. Wade, but she has publicly criticized the 1991 Supreme Court ruling to allow the Department of Health and Human Services to restrict funding from groups that performed or promoted abortion, and has also criticized crisis pregnancy centers,” said Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of pro-life political action group Susan B. Anthony List.
“Additionally, President Obama has said he prefers a Supreme Court nominee who would take a special interest in ‘women’s rights’—a barely masked euphemism for abortion rights,” Dannenfelser noted. “Through the judicial confirmation process the American people must know where Elena Kagan stands on the abortion issue, and it is the responsibility of the U.S. Senate to find out.”
Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president of Americans United for Life similarly criticized the move, saying on Monday that “Elena Kagan has strong ties to abortion-advocacy organizations and expressed admiration for activist judges who have worked to advance social policy rather than to impartially interpret the law.”
Yoest also stated, “Americans United for Life will oppose President Obama's attempt to reshape the Court as an activist, pro-abortion institution through which unelected judges will work to impose an out-of-the-mainstream social agenda upon the American people.”