Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Elena Kagan Is Very Bad News

* Kagan has contributed financially to the National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF), an organization whose goal, in its own words, is “to increase women’s access to…reproductive health services and block attempts to limit reproductive rights…and to give every woman access to…abortion services….” Kagan “listed membership in” NPWF in a questionnaire she submitted in connection with her judicial nomination in 1999.

Judith Lichtman, Senior Advisor for the NPWF, who believes “[e]fforts to limit coverage of abortion services are really attempts to deny women access to health care services,” wrote a letter “wholeheartedly” supporting Kagan’s Solicitor General nomination, whom she describes as a “friend and colleague.”

The NPWF also shares strong ties to Emily’s List, an organization that works to elect pro-abortion Democratic women to Congress, and NARAL Pro-Choice America (NARAL), an organization that advocates for increased access to abortion...

The role of a Supreme Court Justice is not to usurp the role of legislatures and force upon the American people the Justice’s views on social justice and reproductive rights. When a Justice begins to rule based on her own beliefs or those of a particular group, she fails in her duty to uphold the fundamental Constitutional principle of equal justice for all.

If Kagan is confirmed, the American people will continue to have a pro-abortion ideology imposed upon them by a life-time-appointed Justice.

(Americans United for Life)

* Solicitor General Elena Kagan, nominated Monday to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Barack Obama, told that court in September that Congress could constitutionally prohibit corporations from engaging in political speech such as publishing pamphlets that advocate the election or defeat of a candidate for federal office.

Kagan’s argument that the government could prohibit political speech by corporations was rejected by a 5-4 majority of the Supreme Court in the case of Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion in that case, and in a scathing concurrence Chief Justice John Roberts took direct aim at Kagan’s argument that the government could ban political pamphlets.

“The Government urges us in this case to uphold a direct prohibition on political speech. It asks us to embrace a theory of the First Amendment that would allow censorship not only of television and radio broadcasts, but of pamphlets, posters, the Internet, and virtually any other medium that corporations and unions might find useful in expressing their views on matters of public concern,” wrote Roberts. “Its theory, if accepted, would empower the Government to prohibit newspapers from running editorials or opinion pieces supporting or opposing candidates for office, so long as the newspapers were owned by corporations—as the major ones are. First Amendment rights could be confined to individuals, subverting the vibrant public discourse that is at the foundation of our democracy.”

Justice Kennedy described the law Kagan had defended as an illegitimate attempt to use “censorship to control thought.”

“When Government seeks to use its full power, including the criminal law, to command where a person may get his or her information or what distrusted source he or she may not hear, it uses censorship to control thought,” Kennedy wrote in the majority opinion. “This is unlawful. The First Amendment confirms the freedom to think for ourselves.”

In March 2009, six months before Kagan told the court that the government could bar corporations from publishing political pamphlets, her deputy solicitor general, Malcolm Stewart, had gone further, telling the court the Constitution authorized Congress to prohibit corporations from publishing full-length books that included passages advocating the election or defeat of a candidate for federal office.

(CNS News)

* Last month New York Times legal writer Adam Liptak said two recent Supreme Court cases "suggest that the Roberts Court is prepared to adopt a robustly libertarian view of the constitutional protection of free speech." Elena Kagan, President Obama’s nominee to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens, was on the losing side in both.

As solicitor general, of course, Kagan has an obligation to defend federal laws against constitutional challenges. But her pro-censorship positions went beyond the call of duty. Together with some of her academic writings, her arguments in these cases provide grounds to worry that she will be even less inclined than Stevens, who has a mixed First Amendment record, to support freedom of speech...


* Kagan’s actions give us a window into her judicial philosophy—and it is not encouraging. As a law clerk for Justice Thurgood Marshall, Kagan wrote a brief in Bowen v. Kendrick where the Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling that federal grants to religious organizations under the Adolescent Family Life Act violated the 1st Amendment’s Establishment Clause. Kagan essentially argued that religious organizations should be discriminated against because of their beliefs.

Kagan later recanted, stating that her analysis was “deeply mistaken” and “the dumbest thing [she] ever heard.” And yet the ACLU credited her with shaping the Clinton Administration’s policy on hate crimes, a tool of homosexual activists intended to punish religious beliefs regarding homosexuality. Her disregard for a foundation liberty is a troubling characteristic for a justice to the Supreme Court.

Kagan has been extraordinarily careful to hide her opinions. But she couldn’t resist two issues: abortion and homosexuality.

Federal regulations against giving tax dollars to counsel women to get abortions have been upheld by the Supreme Court. Kagan—who reportedly has close ties to abortion advocacy groups—has publicly criticized these life-saving measures.

As solicitor general, despite promises to senators and her professional obligation, Kagan failed to vigorously defend federal laws involving challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act and the underlying law to "don't ask, don't tell" which bars gays from the military...

(Human Events)