The Senate should reject Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination because she seeks to expand executive branch authority at the expense of the public’s historic civil rights.
The bipartisan Justice Integrity Project (JIP) today announced its opposition to Kagan, based especially on JIP’s core area of research: She is part of an Obama Department of Justice (DOJ) leadership team that has failed to redress unconstitutional lawbreaking by overzealous prosecutors and greedy judges.
“Our nation faces unprecedented threats, with constitutional issues too often decided by a Supreme Court on a partisan, result-oriented basis,” said JIP Executive Director Andrew Kreig. “We need reform. This nominee’s track record on key civil rights issues does not deserve public trust or confirmation ─ especially given her direct involvement in several notorious cases while representing DOJ as solicitor general.” Today, for example, the Court reportedly meets to decide whether to concur with her request to deny a hearing for former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman and former HealthSouth CEO Richard Scrushy.
More generally, JIP criticizes as flawed the Senate confirmation hearing that begins today. The partisan hearings fire up the base of the parties largely on hot-button cultural issues, but duck issues central to the disintegration of constitutional protections. In one of Kagan’s few scholarly works, she also described the process as “vapid and hollow.” But she reversed her view last year as she avoided tough questions during her confirmation to be solicitor general, DOJ’s third-ranking post. She was confirmed with 61 votes.
To foster reform, JIP today launches a special website featuring critics of Kagan, the confirmation process and the largely unaccountable executive branch. With scant oversight, U.S. presidents increasingly lead the way on economic policies, war-making and mandatory health insurance of dubious constitutionality, as well as warrantless electronic surveillance, torture, and prosecutorial immunity from liability. Looking ahead, the courts must address mass suffering from BP’s Gulf oil volcano, often minimized as a “spill.”
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