The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted 13-to-6 to approve Elena Kagan as a Supreme Court justice. The full Senate is expected to vote on her nomination later in the summer.
The Committee voted to confirm her despite her lackluster record as Solicitor General, where she inexplicably failed to defend federal laws protecting crime victims.
Despite Kagan’s dereliction of duty, she was nominated to the serve on the Supreme Court by President Obama.
Kagan made utterly implausible claims in her confirmation hearings about her work as Solicitor General. The Solicitor General is the federal government’s top litigator. As such, her opinion would have been sought about the new health care law signed by the President this year, and pending constitutional challenges to the law brought by state attorneys general. But Kagan, incredibly, denies having ever expressed “any opinion whatsoever on any litigation or potential litigation coming out of the health-care bill.” Kagan made these implausible claims to avoid having to recuse herself from hearing any challenge to the new health-care law, even though she has an ethical obligation to recuse herself under canons of judicial ethics. (In two 5-to-4 Supreme Court decisions, the Supreme Court struck down regulations of non-economic activity under the Commerce Clause. The new healthcare law goes even further by regulating inactivity, since it penalizes a failure to buy health insurance).
As Solicitor General, Kagan zealously defended the most censorious aspects of the McCain-Feingold law, which violated the First Amendment, and her office argued that the federal government could even ban books advocating the defeat of a politician.
As dean of Harvard Law School, she banned the military from Harvard, challenging a federal law that granted equal access to military recruiters. She claimed the law, which applied to recipients of federal funds, was unconstitutional — a position unanimously rejected by the Supreme Court.
Kagan has no judicial experience. She has been criticized by conservatives and liberals alike for her scanty output as a law professor.
Liberal law professor Paul Campos says that “Kagan’s scholarly writings are lifeless, dull, and eminently forgettable.” Conservative lawyer Paul Mirengoff says she has published so little that she is a “stealth law professor.”
Liberal lawyer Glenn Greenwald has written that Kagan is hostile to civil liberties and constitutional rights. Legal scholars at free-market think-tanks also argue that Kagan is hostile to free speech.
The vote to approve Kagan was largely along party lines, with all 12 Democrats voting to approve her nomination, and six of the seven Republicans voting against it.
The Obama Administration is busy packing the courts with people who will block the death penalty and strict sentences for violent crime, like the radical law professor Goodwin Liu, and a judge who tried to block the execution of the Roadside Strangler based on the unbelievable ground that his “sexual sadism” was a mitigating factor — even though the Roadside Strangler admitted his own execution was appropriate.