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EDITORIAL: Kagan’s kiss of death

Obama court nominee is responsible for keeping infanticide legal

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Senators who vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court will need to answer this fall for ignoring legal ethics while contributing to the Obama administration's culture of death. Solicitor General Kagan acted unethically - while an aide to President Clinton and in testimony last week to the Senate Judiciary Committee - to promote the monstrosity known as partial-birth abortion.

This nomination is in tune with President Obama's career-long devaluation of human life. As a state senator, Mr. Obama voted several times against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, designed to keep alive infants who survive "botched" abortions. This is the president whose science adviser, John Holdren, wrote favorably of "compulsory abortion," of "a program of sterilizing women after their second or third child" and even of adding a sterilizing agent to drinking water as long as it has "no effect on members of the opposite sex, children, old people, pets or livestock." This president's key health adviser, Ezekiel Emanuel, wrote in the 1990s that in public health policy, "25-year-olds [should] receive priority over 65-year-olds." This is in addition to Obamacare's scary health rationing, which will be implemented by a newly appointed Medicare czar with a long record in favor of rationing.

Now we have Ms. Kagan, who may be more responsible than anyone for keeping partial-birth abortion legal for an extra decade. Polling shows 75 percent of Americans oppose this brutal practice, and for good reason. It involves delivering most of a live baby before cutting its skull and sucking out the brain. When the Clinton White House considered legislation to make this infanticide illegal, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reported it "could identify no circumstances under which this procedure ... would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman." Ms. Kagan pronounced this news "a disaster" because it could give Mr. Clinton reason to restrict partial-birth abortions. She then set to work convincing ACOG to add a sentence making the practice seem more reasonable. Courts later quoted that sentence in deciding bans on the procedure were unconstitutional.

"She obscured the truth: By reframing ACOG's judgments, she altered their political effects as surely as if she had changed them. She also altered their legal effect," wrote's liberal William Saletan, arguing that Ms. Kagan misled the Senate Judiciary Committee. "All of us should be embarrassed that a sentence written by a White House aide now stands enshrined as the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, erroneously credited with scientific authorship and rigor. Kagan should be most chastened of all."

Democratic senators who harp about ethics - such as Pennsylvania turncoat Arlen Specter and Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold - should take offense at Ms. Kagan's serious fudging under oath. Senate Democrats who claim to oppose partial-birth abortion - such as Nebraska's Ben Nelson, Arkansas' Blanche Lincoln and Nevada's Harry Reid - should be held to account if they vote for her.

Ms. Kagan's nomination should be set afire, and senators who might support her should feel the heat.

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