The Spectacle Blog

Kagan: Abortive Ethics. Sessions: Steady Hero

By on 7.30.10 | 11:16AM

We at the Washington Times today explain why senators are derelict in their duty if they don't do more investigation into troubling questions about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's ethics.

Ms. Kagan, the U.S. solicitor general, was directly responsible for altering a key medical report in a way that stacked the deck in favor of keeping the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion legal. She then gave testimony to the SenateJudiciary Committee that appeared to veer from the actual record.

The ethical questions are threefold. First, was it unethical for her to alter the original medical-report language? Second, was it unethical for her to fail to inform the courts when a series of judges relied explicitly on her altered language in reaching their decisions to keep partial-birth abortion legal for an entire extra decade? Third, did her testimony under oath before the SenateJudiciary Committee veer far enough from the actual record to constitute a major ethical breach?

These are far from the only reasons, of course, to oppose Ms. Kagan's nomination. She believes government "doles" out speech rights at its pleasure. She believes government may prohibit political pamphlets. She openly flouted the law to harm the military in a time of war. She is so hostile to gun rights that the NRA abandoned its usual silence on Supreme Court nominees and openly opposes her. She is a "transnationalist" who would at times subject American courts to foreign law. And she believes judges should overweigh the scales of justice in favor of the downtrodden, rather than being neutral arbiters.

This is bad stuff.

Let me take this opportunity, by the way, to lay a garland on the shoulders of Alabama's U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, ranking Republican on the Judiciary Committee. He has done a superb, brave, dignified, firm, polite, respectful, but tough-minded job -- an often lonely job -- at bringing up many of these issues, at exposing Ms. Kagan's record, at explaining principled reasons for dissent without ever getting nasty or unfair or smearing Ms. Kagan's character. He has laid out a compelling case against her, day after day, week after week, without enough public credit from me or anybody else on the right. Look at his web sites (personal and committee) to see the wealth of information he has gathered and the huge amount of work he and his staff have done. Many kudos to the good senator.

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