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News, U.S. Supreme Court

Opening Day of Kagan hearings

Senators presented their opening statements today during the opening day of the confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.  Throughout the day, many Senators emphasized the importance of Ms. Kagan answering questions posed to her this week with honesty and sincerity.  Responding satisfactorily to tough questions is particularly important because Ms. Kagan has no judicial experience and has limited legal experience.  Thus, her responses to probing questions this week will provide insight in to her judicial philosophy.  It is imperative that over the next several days, Ms. Kagan provide candid answers to the following questions:

1. Do you agree with the philosophy of your hero, foreign Judge Aharon Barak, who believes that a good judge “adapts” the written law to what the judge thinks are “life’s changing circumstances”?  Or do you believe that this improperly displaces the will of the people who, in a democracy, make the law through their elected representatives in Congress?

2. In light of your extensive history supporting and working for pro-abortion political candidates, judges, and public servants, including your work for President Clinton during which you recommended various political maneuvers to defeat a federal ban on partial-birth abortion, how can you fulfill your obligation to the American people to be impartial when cases about abortion or cloning or any other life issue come before the Court?

3. Would you uphold the right of the American people not to pay for abortions through their tax dollars?

4. Do you agree that foreign law should not be used by the Supreme Court to interpret our own Constitution?

During Senator Tom Coburn’s opening statement, the Senator asked Kagan to not only speak truthfully, but to also set a new precedent for Supreme Court nominees’ confirmation hearings.  Senator Coburn challenged Kagan to truthfully engage the Senators this week and to disclose the judicial philosophy she plans to rely on if confirmed.  The American people deserve to know a Supreme Court nominee’s thoughts on the law and the role of a judge and whether she is honest, Senator Coburn stated.  Will Kagan give Americans confidence in her honesty and integrity?  The next few days will reveal whether Kagan is qualified to serve a life-time appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court.