Kagan nomination worries life and family advocates

President Obama meets with Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Credit: White House, Pete Souza.
President Obama meets with Solicitor General Elena Kagan. Credit: White House, Pete Souza.


The Family Research Council (FRC) reacted to Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court Monday, stating that although President Obama praised her “superb” qualifications, her “known record speaks otherwise.” Other pro-life and pro-family organizations worried that she an activist approach to constitutional law.

Tony Perkins, president of FRC, said in a statement Monday that Kagan “has the least amount of experience of any nominee in the last three decades.”

“Her judicial experience is zero,” he added, “as is her real-world experience, having spent most of her career in academia or working as a Democratic Party insider.”

Referring to a decision Kagan made as Dean of Harvard Law School to prevent military recruiters from having access to campus because of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, Perkins said that her tenure “is marked by kicking the military off campus during the height of the Iraq War, a move that even Ruth Bader Ginsburg ruled was wrong-headed.”

“Ms. Kagan's incredibly hostile view of the military suggests she is out of touch with mainstream sensibilities and obedience to the rule of law,” he said.

“Recently, in her brief tenure as Solicitor General, she argued that the federal government has the power, under campaign finance laws, to ban certain books and pamphlets,” Perkins added. The FRC president recalled how Chief Justice John Roberts reacted to Kagan's argument at the time and quoted him as saying that as “a free-floating test for First Amendment coverage, that (proposition) is startling and dangerous.”

National Right to Life also weighed in on nomination Monday, stating that there are “troubling indications that Ms. Kagan generally favors an activist, results-oriented approach to constitutional law.”

Citing a 1995 law journal article by Kagan, the pro-life group outlined statements from the nominee in which she said  “it should be no surprise by now that many of the votes a Supreme Court Justice casts have little to do with technical legal ability and much to do with conceptions of value.” Kagan also wrote in the same document that  “bottom-line issue in the appointments process must concern the kinds of judicial decisions that will serve the country and, correlatively, the effect the nominee will have on the Court's decisions ... If that is too results oriented ... so be it ...”

Meanwhile, the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) warned in an email that "A vote for Elena Kagan is a vote to impose gay marriage on all 50 states." The group further argued that "claims that somehow Kagan is 'moderate' on gay marriage are part of a PR campaign intended to mislead the public about her core Constitutional values."

As Senate confirmation hearings look to be held before August, Perkins echoed a call being made by numerous pro-life and pro-family advocates, saying, “Ms. Kagan has called for the Senate to use the Supreme Court confirmation hearings 'to engage nominees in meaningful discussion of legal issues,' and that a nominee's views on issues are fair game to be discussed.”

“She should be evaluated by the U.S. Senate with the very standards she set for this process,” he stressed.

“During her confirmation hearings for Solicitor General, Ms. Kagan found it difficult to be forthcoming with her answers,” he noted. “That should not be permitted when she is considered for a permanent position on our nation's highest court.”

According to the Associated Press, Democrats are pushing for an early August vote to confirm Kagan as Supreme Court justice.

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