GOPers Flag Kagan’s Abortion, Gay Advocacy in Confirmation Opening Remarks

Mon Jun 28, 2010 - 12:15 pm EST

By Kathleen Gilbert

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 28, 2010 ( - Some Republican senators on the Senate Judiciary Committee indicated their opposition to Supreme Court hopeful Elena Kagan's pro-abortion and homosexualist agenda, as well as her activist leanings, amid opening remarks at the first in a series of Senate confirmation hearings today.

The committee began with a series of opening statements Monday. Questioning of the nominee will begin Tuesday.

Democratic senators lauded Kagan's credentials as a legal scholar, while Republicans expressed concern over her apparent penchant for political maneuvering and judicial activism.

Ranking GOP member Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) noted in his opening remarks that as an advisor to the Clinton White House, Kagan may have been the "key person who convinced President Clinton" to endorse a "compromise" measure that gave him political cover to veto a partial-birth abortion ban.

Sessions also expressed concern over Kagan's controversial move as Harvard Law dean to ban military recruiters from campus in protest against the ban on open homosexuals serving in the military. "I can't take this issue lightly," said the senator.

In addition, Sessions took issue with Kagan’s having called Israeli Judge Aharon Barak - whom Sessions called the "most activist judge in the world" - her "hero." "Few could dispute this tells us much about the nominee," he said.

"It's easy to pledge fidelity to law if you feel you can change its meaning later as a judge."

Sen. John Kyl (R-AZ) decried Kagan's "naked political judgment" when she worried in a memo that a decision against allowing taxpayer money to pay for a prisoner's abortion would "create some very bad law on abortion."

Sen. Orrin Hatch warned that both the Senate and the American people will want to know whether Kagan will impose her personal views on the law. "Will the Constitution control her, or will she control the Constitution?" he asked.

A Rasmussen Reports survey released last Wednesday found 42% of U.S. voters opposed Kagan's confirmation. Thirty-five percent supported Kagan, whereas 23% were unsure.

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