A pro-life group urged the Senate to postpone the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, citing their concern that the committee will not have enough time to properly review the nominee's professional record.
In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday, Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, wrote that her organization is “deeply concerned” that the committee will have “insufficient time” to review Kagan's record before the June 28th deadline.
Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the Judiciary Committee chairman, said last week that he plans to begin hearings for Kagan on June 28.
Dr. Yoest urged committee members to “provide whatever time is needed for members to thoroughly prepare for the hearing, even if it requires postponing the hearing date.”
The pro-life leader also pointed out that since Kagan has not served as a judge, it is necessary to have the time to review any documents related to her service in the the White House during the Clinton administration.
In her letter, Dr. Yoest quoted Terri Garner, director of the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, who stated that it will be “very difficult” to produce all of the documents on Kagan's record to the Senate committee before the deadline.
On Monday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) echoed Dr. Yoest's concerns about Clinton-era documents. “We're heading to what could be a train wreck," he said, according to the Associated Press. "I don't believe that this committee can go forward with an adequate hearing" without all records from Kagan's tenure as a White House counsel and then domestic policy adviser to President Clinton.
Elaborating on her group's concerns, Dr. Yoest wrote, “We at Americans United for Life, like most Americans, believe that a nominee's judicial philosophy goes to the heart of his or her qualifications to serve on the United States Supreme Court.”
“Because Solicitor General Kagan has not served as a judge, and consequently there are no judicial decisions to review, it is critical that Committee members be given ample time to review the documents she produced while serving in the executive branch, and thoroughly question her about those writings in order to understand the philosophy she would bring to the Court.”
“Without time to complete this process, members will be unable to adequately perform their Constitutional duty to evaluate her qualifications,” she added.
“Americans and their elected representatives deserve to learn more about Kagan's judicial philosophy before she is given a lifetime appointment to our nation's highest court,” Dr. Yoest underscored.