Reactions to Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan for Supreme Court justice

Monday, May 10, 2010

Reactions to Kagan’s nomination for Supreme Court

Some reaction to President Barack Obama’s nomination of Elena Kagan for Supreme Court justice.

“I am particularly pleased President Obama has chosen a nominee from outside the judicial monastery. I believe that through her confirmation process, Elena Kagan will demonstrate that her primary allegiance is to fairness, justice and the rule of law, not ideology.” — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

“She has been nominated for a lifetime appointment on the nation’s highest court, and we will carefully review her brief litigation experience, as well as her judgment and her career in academia, both as a professor and as an administrator.” — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.

“The decisions made at the nation’s highest court affect the daily lives of all Americans. Our constituents deserve a civil and thoughtful debate on this nomination, followed by an up-or-down vote.” — Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

“Although the Committee is familiar with Ms. Kagan from her previous nomination as solicitor general, a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court is a far more significant position. Accordingly, her nomination merits a fresh review based on different criteria.” — Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., Judiciary Committee ranking member

“I welcome President Obama’s decision to nominate someone to be the first Supreme Court justice from outside the judiciary since former Chief Justice William Rehnquist and Justice Lewis Powell.” — Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., Judiciary Committee member.

“Solicitor General Kagan has a strong academic background in the law. I have been generally pleased with her job performance as solicitor general, particularly regarding legal issues related to the war on terror.” — Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Judiciary Committee member.

“Importantly, Kagan is a nominee from outside the ‘judicial monastery’ — that is one of her greatest strengths as a nominee. But just as it’s important for Supreme Court justices to have a diversity of legal backgrounds, it’s also thrilling to see the court begin to reflect the reality of our diverse population.” — Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., Judiciary Committee member.

“Her previous confirmation, and my support for her in that position, do not by themselves establish either her qualifications for the Supreme Court or my obligation to support her. I have an open mind and look forward to actively participating in the confirmation process.” — Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Judiciary Committee member.

“Ms. Kagan is a remarkable lawyer who has worked in private practice, clerked for Illinois’ own Judge Abner Mikva and Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, served as a Senate staff member and worked in the executive branch. She has also blazed a trail for women in America.” — Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Judiciary Committee member

“She is a surprising choice from a president who has emphasized the importance of understanding ‘how the world works and how ordinary people live.’ Ms. Kagan has spent her entire professional career in Harvard Square, Hyde Park and the DC Beltway. … Ms. Kagan is likewise a surprising choice because she lacks judicial experience.” — Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, Judiciary Committee member.

“As solicitor general, a position often called the tenth justice, she would bring a unique, firsthand perspective to the court, along with a lifetime of broad legal experience.” — Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., Judiciary Committee member.

“As I made clear when I supported her confirmation as solicitor general, a temporary political appointment is far different than a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.” — Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., Judiciary Committee member.

“The fact that she has so much practical experience, on a Court where it is missing, should be considered an asset. She has a long record as a consensus builder and is the kind of person who can bridge the 5-4 splits that have become so routine on this court.” — Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Judiciary Committee member.

“We are extremely disappointed by the president’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. … Even with her sparse legal record, one thing stands out — her emotional and legal commitment to the LGBT agenda.” — Tom Minnery, a senior vice president at Focus on the Family Action.

“President Obama has selected a nominee with a sound record of legal accomplishment. We call on the Senate to give Solicitor General Kagan a fair hearing and look forward to learning more about her views on the right to privacy and the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.” — Nancy Keenan, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America.

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