- Gentlemen, start your drones: Judge’s ruling opens door for commercial use
- Soldier who hid, bragged about not saluting flag to be punished — in secret
- ‘Maverick’ of the seas: ‘Top Gun’ school for U.S. ship officers to launch
- Putin declares Sochi Paralympics open amid Ukrainian protest
- ‘In Jesus name, we pray’ sparks ire at Ohio council meeting
- Navy’s first laser weapon ready for prime time; drone killer to deploy this summer
- Billionaire backer: Rick Santorum ‘needs to be heard’ in 2016
- Obamacare fallout: 49 percent pessimistic; 45 percent ‘scared’
- DHS accused of holding U.S. citizen at airport, using emails to pry into her sex life
- Seattle socialist: Minimum-wage discussion skewed by ‘right-wing’ GAO analysis
Kagan sidesteps Republican punches
Nominee parries charges of ‘activism’
Republican senators Tuesday pressed Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan repeatedly over concerns she would be an activist judge, with President Obama’s pick defending her record on restricting military recruiters at Harvard, gun rights, the rights of individuals vs. corporations and her admiration for the late Justice Thurgood Marshall.
Ms. Kagan, facing the SenateJudiciary Committee in the second day of her confirmation hearing, used wit, modesty and legal expertise to deflect a litany of Republican queries and concerns during a daylong hearing that was largely civil in tone. Many of her answers appeared tailored to the concerns of her most conservative questioners.
Sen. Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican, asked Ms. Kagan, now the nation’s solicitor general, if she “would tend to judge in cases more actively or more with interest in protecting the rights of those who are disadvantaged?”
Ms. Kagan, 50, answered that she would do “what the law requires” because “that’s what matters.”
“The thing of glory, Sen. Kyl, is that the courts are open to all people and will listen respectfully and with attention to all claims,” she said.
Ms. Kagan added that judges shouldn’t give deferential treatment to individuals or small parties when facing big business, saying that “that courts have to be level playing fields and that everybody has to have an opportunity to go before the court.”
“And they said you’re not political,” replied the senator, smiling.
Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking Republican on the judiciary panel, had one of the most blunt exchanges of the day, pressing Ms. Kagan on her decision to restrict the access of military recruiters to students at Harvard Law School while she was dean.
Mr. Sessions questioned whether her actions created a hostile atmosphere toward recruiters and treated them in a “second-class way.”
“The Air Force and the Army say they were blocked, they were stonewalled, they were getting the run-around from Harvard,” Mr. Sessions said. “I feel like you mishandled that, I’m absolutely confident you did.”
Ms. Kagan countered that she never barred recruiters from campus and always acted within the law. Rather, she said she let the school’s military veterans association sponsor recruiters instead of the school.
She said the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy against allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military clashed with the school’s anti-discrimination policy.
“The military had full access to our students, both before I became dean and after I became dean,” she said.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Sean Lengell covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP tests Democrats on college loan issue
- Lawmakers outside intelligence loop get miffed about briefing structure in Congress
- John Boehner: Time is right to bring latest farm bill to House floor
- Supreme Court nears rulings on key voting rights cases
- John Boehner demands answers on NSA, phone records
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Six Senate seats could hinge on Keystone pipeline
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- 80 people publicly executed across North Korea for films, Bibles
- Bill Clinton cashes in on struggling nonprofit hospital
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Russias Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again