US Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan meets with senators on Capitol Hill
Thursday, May 13, 2010
US Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan began the first of a long series of meetings with US Senators on yesterday. Kagan met with eight leading Senate leaders on Wednesday, including Harry Reid (Democrat-Nevada), Mitch McConnell (Republican-Kentucky), (D-Vermont), Dick Durbin (D-Illinois) and Jeff Sessions (R-Illinois); she continued the meetings with seven additional Senators on Thursday. Senator Reid called her "the right choice to replace Justice Stevens on the Supreme Court", while McConnell hoped "that the Obama administration doesn't think the ideal Supreme Court nominee is someone who would rubber-stamp its policies."
It is currently unclear what the meetings mean for Kagan: Senator James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma) guessed that around half of the Senate's 100 members already have strong opinions about the nominee. Some Republicans are worried about her move to block military recruiters from 's campus to protest the federal "Don't ask" policy against openly gay and lesbian members of the US military. Kagan's background is also of concern to some. If confirmed, she would be the first without ever having held a judicial position in 38 years. Kagan, currently the , spent much of her early career as a professor of law and the dean of the . She was previously nominated for the for the Washington, D.C. Circuit in 1999, but the nomination was unsuccessful.
However, the nominee is also gathering support from both Republicans and Democrats. Despite her controversial decision at Harvard, Senator Massachusetts) said Thursday that he found Kagan to support the military, after meeting with her. In addition, (R-Maine) said that she does not believe Kagan's "lack of judicial experience in any way disqualifies her" to the position. Neither Senator, however, has committed to supporting Kagan yet, choosing to wait until after confirmation hearings finish this summer. On the other hand, the Washington Post estimates that Kagan will pass the Senate, if only because of the Democratic majority that currently exists there. Most, if not all Democrats are expected to vote for Kagan.(R-
The 50-year-old lawyer was nominated to the highest court in the United States by President Barack Obama on Monday, after current Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement earlier. Kagan is seen as a moderate, having been criticized by both - and politicians, although "she's identified with the American liberal position", according to Sessions.
- CNN Wire Staff. "Kagan meets with key senators" — , May 12, 2010
- Davis, Julie Hirschfeld. "Republican Brown calls Kagan pro-military" — , May 13, 2010
- Stolberg, Sheryl Gay. "On Capitol Hill, Kagan Gets to Know Her Voters" — , May 12, 2010
- Arsenault, Mark and Matt Viser. "Brown satisfied with Kagan's view on military" — , May 13, 2010
- Davis, Julie Hirschfeld. "Kagan makes rounds on Capitol Hill, staying mum" — , May 12, 2010
- Baker, Peter and Jeff Zeleny. "Obama Picks Kagan as Justice Nominee" — , May 9, 2010