Today President Obama announced his nomination of Elena Kagan, Solicitor General of the United States, to serve as an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Kagan would replace Justice John Paul Stevens-the leader of the Court’s liberal bloc-who is retiring at the end of the current Supreme Court term.
Republicans need to be respectful during the nomination process, but they must be forceful in asking Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan whether she will stand with the American people or with Obama’s liberal agenda.
Kagan’s confirmation as Solicitor General was approved by the United States Senate with the help of seven Republican votes. However, the appointment to a lifetime position on the highest court in the land presents a far different standard.
The American people are increasingly concerned that Washington is disregarding the Constitution’s limits on government power. These concerns are central to this process, and are heightened by the President’s controversial statements on his criteria for selecting judges.
With no judicial experience to evaluate, the Committee must carefully assess all other areas of her record to determine her commitment to the Constitution. Prior speeches, writings and activities must be closely examined.
Ms. Kagan must demonstrate that she was not chosen by the President as a political ally who will rubber-stamp his agenda – but rather as an impartial jurist who will uphold the Constitution’s limits on the proper role of federal government and defend the liberties of everyday Americans. If she cannot show the latter, I believe her nomination should be rejected.
If Kagan is confirmed, she will influence social and legal issues for generations to come. Kagan’s support of public funding for abortions is very disturbing, as is her view that the “don’t ask; don’t tell” policy of the Clinton Administration is “a profound wrong – a moral injustice of the first order.” She went as far as to inflict her personal opinion on students while serving as the Dean of Harvard when she stopped all military recruiters from even being on campus. She argued that the “don’t ask; don’t tell” policy violated the first amendment for the U.S. to withhold funds from colleges that ban the military from recruiting on campus (a view the Supreme Court unanimously rejected).
The President has stated repeatedly that he wants a justice who will understand the effects of decisions on the lives of everyday Americans. But what Americans want is a justice who will stay true to the Constitution and defend the rights of all Americans, adhering to the rule of law instead of legislating from the bench.
Our judiciary is the finest in the world, and its fundamental fairness is derived from the certainty that Judges will rule on the law. The American people deserve no less.
Cross Posted at Boozman For Arkansas.com