Blog Post

Kagan Confirmation Vote Delayed

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist Conservative members of the Senate Judiciary Committee have managed to delay the vote on the confirmation of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, citing concerns about her lack of judicial experience and several controversial positions she took regarding military recruiting at Harvard and the partial birth abortion debate. According to The Hill, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), the ranking Republican on the panel, said delaying the vote until next week is a "protest" against her record on military recruiting while serving as Harvard law school dean, her lack of judicial experience, and her work on a partial-birth abortion memo as a mid-level aide at the Clinton White House. “There are concerns about the nomination in a host of different areas,” Sessions said. “The nominee lacks the experience and intellectual rigor of practicing law and serving as a judge … and I think it showed in her testimony. She also lacked the clarity and strict intellectual honesty that I think we should look for in a nomination to the Supreme Court.” Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) granted the request but called the delay  unnecessary and said the panel would vote on July 20. At the same time, The Hill is also reporting that the conservative Judicial Crisis Network (JCN) sent a letter to the Committee demanding that Kagan recuse herself from any cases that might come before the Supreme Court regarding the healthcare lawsuit filed by 20 state attorneys general and the National Federation of Independent Businesses challenging the health care law’s constitutionality. In its letter, the JCN said it is “highly likely” that Kagan played an “official role” in the administration’s response to the lawsuit while serving in her role as U.S. solicitor general. “Any participation by Kagan in administration discussions about Florida et al. v. The Department of Health and Human Services, in which she ventured an opinion regarding the case’s merits, clearly would require her disqualification from any consideration of the case by the Supreme Court,” wrote Gary Marx Carrie Severino, JCN’s executive director. Sen. Sessions raised the same issues about Kagan’s role in advising or discussing the legal strategy involved in fighting the state challenges. “It is all but inconceivable to me that when states challenged the healthcare law … she did not participate or express her opinions in the case,” he said. © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®