In light of President Obama’s most recent nomination to the Supreme Court of the United States, I thought it would be helpful to post the reaction of some of the country’s leaders. Below are the statements of a few respected men and women on the appointment of Elena Kagain to the SCOTUS:
“Kagan’s nomination is a triumph for liberal ideology and judicial activism,” he said. “She has never been a judge, nor written a judicial opinion. In fact, she has very limited experience in the actual practice of law. Her resume reveals her to be an academic who has served liberal judges, liberal presidents and liberal universities. Her entire career has been lived in a narrow slice of the judicial spectrum.”
- Tom Minnery, via CitizenLink: Supreme Court Nominee Draws Criticism.
“Elena Kagan’s lack of legal experience will be discussed by both sides of the aisle but her record of liberal activism should not be overlooked.
“As the Harvard Law School Dean, Elena Kagan tried to bar the military from recruiting on her law school’s campus during the height of the Iraq War based on her opposition to the federal law restricting homosexuals in the military. She fought the issue all the way to the Supreme Court which ruled unanimously against her, an extraordinary rebuke to her legal and substantive reasoning.
“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. President Obama promised a nominee committed to the ‘rule of law’ but, instead, he appears to have nominated a hard-left activist to the Supreme Court.
“Additionally 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. Responding to this argument of Ms. Kagan, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote,’As a free-floating test for First Amendment coverage, that (proposition) is startling and dangerous.’
“During her confirmation hearings for Solicitor General, Ms. Kagan found it difficult to be forthcoming with her answers. That should not be permitted when she is considered for a permanent position on our nation’s highest court.
- Tony Perkins, via Family Research Council.
“President Obama has chosen another activist who seeks to reshape the traditional understanding of the Constitution to suit her personal views. Kagan has been open in her admiration of activist judges who re-write the law to suit themselves and advocated that judges ‘advance’ social policy rather than faithfully applying the law.
“Today’s AUL analysis shows that Kagan has contributed money to the National Partnership for Women and Families, a pro-choice organization with strong ties to Emily’s List and NARAL. She is an ardent abortion supporter, even arguing the federal government is subsidizing ‘anti-abortion speech’ when, in Title X, the federal government is prohibited from referring women for abortion. Ironically, her free speech sentiments do not extend to critics of aggressive activism. She has referred to those who call for respect and adherence to the Constitution ‘irresponsible’ and asserted that their criticism was ‘harmful to our constitutional system and to the value of a judiciary.
“We know that Kagan embraces judicial activism and abortion-on-demand. It’s how she will turn her views into law that is hidden to the American people. Kagan is a stealth candidate; a woman with an open and extreme philosophy but no track record on how she will implement her own judicial activism. Obama is taking too great a risk with America’s future with the Kagan pick.”
“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. 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. 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.
“Ms. Kagan’s publicly demonstrated prejudices do not lend themselves well to blind justice. Susan B. Anthony and her early feminist compatriots fought for a human rights standard sustained only through blind justice—and they knew that one group is never served by undermining the rights of another. Women will never be served by ignoring the rights of unborn children. When evidence of personal preference appears in any Supreme Court nominee’s judgment, it should give all women pause.”
- Marjorie Dannenfelser, via Elena Kagan Nominated to the Supreme Court-Susan B. Anthony List.
Where I believe President Obama errs is in his view of the proper role of the courts. In envisaging courts as agents of social change unconstrained by the text, logic, structure, and original understanding of the Constitution, he misunderstands the important but limited role of judges in our constitutional system. The judicial office is not a license for jurists to usurp the authority of legislators, or impose on the nation their preferred ideas about social justice or personal rights. When judges do that, in the name of a right to abortion, for example, or to redefine marriage or drive religion from public life, they betray the Constitution in whose name they purport to act.
- Professor Robert P. George, via Robert P. George’s Statement on the Nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Kagan’s exclusion of military recruiters from the Harvard law school campus promises to draw considerable attention precisely because—as Peter Beinart, the liberal former editor of the New Republic, has written—it amounted to “a statement of national estrangement,” of Kagan’s “alienating [her]self from the country.” In her fervent opposition to the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law and the Solomon Amendment, Kagan elevated her own ideological commitment on gay rights above what Congress, acting on the advice of military leaders, had determined best served the interests of national security. At a time of war, in the face of the grand civilizational challenge that radical Islam poses, Kagan treated military recruiters worse than she treated the high-powered law firms that were donating their expensive legal services to anti-American terrorists.
Kagan has argued that the Senate should carefully explore a nominee’s views on judicial philosophy generally and on hotly contested constitutional issues in particular. Her argument has special force for someone who has been so guarded about her own views. Indeed, its force is all the greater since Kagan has indulged her own ideological views in the one area, gay rights, in which she has been vocal: as law school dean, Kagan embraced an utterly implausible reading of the Solomon Amendment, and as Solicitor General, she has acted to undermine the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell law and the Defense of Marriage Act that she is dutybound to defend.
“In her disdain for the military, Elena Kagan considers her own views and opinions as more important than obeying the law and equipping the country with the best fighting force in the world. We need justices who put national security over the feelings or demands of special interest groups.
“We urge the US Senate to oppose the nomination of Elena Kagan. We want a justice who will defend the Constitution, support our families and uphold the right to life and traditional marriage.”
“Any justice nominated to the Supreme Court should apply the Constitution faithfully and according to the intent of the founders who drafted it. As Thomas Jefferson said, the judiciary becomes a ‘despotic branch’ if judges decide for themselves what is and is not constitutional,” said ADF Senior Counsel Gary McCaleb. “When judges begin to legislate, then the law can be distorted to fabricate rights that don’t exist, such as a ‘right’ to same-sex ‘marriage,’ for example. We have no constitution at all if it is merely a document we can interpret as we please and modify in ways other than the Constitution itself prescribes.”
. . .
“Thomas Jefferson noted in 1804 that ‘the opinion which gives to the judges the right to decide what laws are constitutional and what not, not only for themselves in their own sphere of action but for the Legislature and the Executive also in their spheres, would make the judiciary a despotic branch,’” said [President, CEO, and General Chief Counsel Alan] Sears. “If confirmed, we pray that Ms. Kagan will heed the magnitude of Jefferson’s concern and respect the limits of her judicial office, ruling according to the Constitution, and not legislating from the bench.”
- Gary MacCaleb and Alan Sears, via ADF – News Release.
About Jeremy Dys
Jeremy Dys is the FPCWV's President and General Counsel. In addition to his duties of providing strategic vision and leadership to the FPCWV, Dys is the chief lobbyist and spokesman. Dys is regularly featured in local, state, and national print, radio, and television outlets. He lives close to Charleston with his wife and growing family.