The "Very Extreme" Elena Kagan

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-3 in favor of confirming Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. The mainly party-line vote (Sen. Lindsey Graham was the only Republican to vote in favor), comes after a several week long questioning period. Despite having never argued a case at trial and never having argued before the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan was nominated by President Obama to be Solicitor General of the US on January 2009. Sixteen months later, on May 9, 2010 it was announced that President Obama had selected Kagan to be the replacement justice for pro-abortion Justice John Paul Stevens and serve on the highest court in the land, despite having no judicial experience whatsoever.                                                                                                                       

Kagan, who has expressed support for the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade served as a law clerk for pro-abortion Justice Thurgood Marshall, one of the seven concurring justices of Roe. Kagan has cited Marshall as her inspiration and “role model.” In the 1990s Kagan worked in the Clinton administration drafting letters for the president and advising him on a number of matters, including abortion. Kagan’s nomination has been subject to intense scrutiny for a number of reasons, including her barring of military recruiters from the Harvard campus when she was the Harvard Law Dean and her belligerence towards groups such as the NRA, which she grouped together with the Ku Klux Klan. However, none of her positions have drawn more concern than her positions on abortion.                                                                                                                                                                                         

From 1995 to 1999, Kagan served as President Bill Clinton’s Associate White house Counsel and Deputy Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy and Deputy Director of the Domestic Policy Council, during which time Congress passed the Partial Abortion Ban by a two thirds margin. However, under Kagan’s advice, President Clinton vetoed it which put him at risk of being overridden, a bad political situation. Kagan urged him to support the more moderate version of the ban, with an amendment from then Minority Leader Tom Daschle, which included an exception for “the health of the mother.” “Health of the mother” has been used by pro-abortion doctors and activists for decades to obtain elective abortions for frivolous, non-health related reasons. In fact, most doctors agree that partial birth abortion is never needed to protect the health or life of the mother. reports “[The] American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists…panel in October of 1996 drafted a medical report on partial-birth abortion, which stated that they “‘could identify no circumstances under which [partial-birth abortion] would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.’“ The article goes on to detail how Kagan altered the report to fit her own agenda.

“Kagan, however, in a December memo called the draft a “disaster” and wrote the following statement, which [she] included in the final draft of the ACOG report: ‘”An intact D&X [dilation and extraction, or partial-birth abortion], however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and a doctor should be allowed to make this determination.”’

 Kagan is likely to have also interfered with testimony from the American Medical Association also regarding partial birth abortion. By tampering with the statement by the ACOG, Kagan displayed a complete disregard for judicial objectivity and ethical boundaries. It is no wonder that Americans United for Life’s Bill Saunders called Kagan “very extreme” and warned against her nomination, which he predicted would be “bad” for pro life causes.
This week SBA List President Marjorie Dannenfelser wrote a letter to every senator urging a “no” vote on Kagan’s confirmation, citing “deep concern over her objectivity in weighing factual information concerning abortion” and “a willingness to bend medical facts to support an ideological point of view,” which she called “inconsistent with the temperament required of a Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.” Kagan’s confirmation vote will likely happen before August 6, when the Senate begins a five week recess. So far nine senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, have announced they will vote against confirmation. In addition to the Susan B. Anthony List, National Right to Life Committee, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, Right to Life Advocates, Pastors for Life, and Operation Rescue have expressed opposition to Kagan’s confirmation.

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