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Kagan has her first Senate opponent: Jim Inhofe

By Paul Kane
Just as with President Obama's first Supreme Court nominee, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) on Monday became the first senator to formally oppose the nomination of Elena Kagan to the high court.

Inhofe also opposed Kagan's nomination in early 2009 to be solicitor general, and he pointed to that position in explaining why he did not need to wait for confirmation hearings to determine his vote on a promotion to an even more important position.

"I remain concerned about Elena Kagan's record," Inhofe said in a statement. "Now as a nominee to the Supreme Court, her lack of judicial experience and her interpretation of the Constitution also play an important role in my decision to once again oppose her nomination."

Last summer, Inhofe took a similar approach to the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. He declined White House offers to even meet with the then-judge, whose nomination to the appellate court he had opposed in the late 1990s.

More from Inhofe's statement:

"The position for which she has been nominated has lifetime tenure, and it is concerning that the President has placed such trust in a nominee that has not been properly vetted through a judicial career, having worked mostly in academia and never before as a judge.

"While her service as the Dean of Harvard Law School is an impressive credential, decisions she made in that role demonstrated poor judgment. While there, she banned the U.S. military from recruiting on campus, an issue very important to me. She took the issue even further when she joined with other law school officials in a lawsuit to overturn the Solomon Amendment, which was adopted by Congress to ensure that schools could not deny military recruiters access to college campuses. Claiming the Solomon Amendment was 'immoral,' she filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in Rumsfeld v. F.A.I.R. opposing the amendment. The Court unanimously ruled against her position and affirmed that the Solomon Amendment was constitutional.

"I am also concerned about the seeming contempt she has demonstrated in her comments about the Senate confirmation process as well as her lack of impartiality when it comes to those who disagree with her position."

By Paul Kane  |  May 10, 2010; 3:24 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , The Courts  
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Comments

LuckyGrad68 wrote:
"It's looking like justices are getting picked by Obama because they are a certain race or sexual orientation more than anything else. I can't even get to the point where I wonder if they are actually qualified when they are being intentionally sought out for these posts so obviously."

--------------
Really? Seriously? More than half of our population is female and you think there's some under-handed scheme because two women have been nominated back-to-back? Were you equally suspicious when Roberts and Alito (two men) were nominated back-to-back? Or with the back-to-back nominations of every white person before Thurgood Marshall? Or every man before Sandra Day O'Connor?

(Separately: "sexual orientation"? Have you confused "sex" or "gender" with "sexual orientation"?)

Posted by: ncooty | May 12, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

If I could have 4 more of any Justice on the Court it would be Clarence Thomas.

Posted by: racullen | May 12, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

If I could have 4 more of any Justice on the Court it would be Clarence Thomas.

Posted by: racullen | May 12, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

What a stroke of luck for Ms. Kagan. Having an idiot like James Inhofe in opposition to her appointment clearly demonstrates that Kagan is more than qualified for the USSC.

If one needs to witness an unqualified USSC justice, just cast your eyes toward Clarence Thomas. No there is a waste of a good seat on the USSC.

Kagan will be confirmed, no sweat!

Inhofe is the most uninformed person in the US Senate. Plus, he's a pimp for the oil industry.

Posted by: voultron2 | May 11, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

What a stroke of luck for Ms. Kagan. Having an idiot like James Inhofe in opposition to her appointment clearly demonstrates that Kagan is more than qualified for the USSC.

If one needs to witness an unqualified USSC justice, just cast your eyes toward Clarence Thomas. No there is a waste of a good seat on the USSC.

Kagan will be confirmed, no sweat!

Inhofe is the most uninformed person in the US Senate. Plus, he's a pimp for the oil industry.

Posted by: voultron2 | May 11, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Inhofe's statement is filled with inaccuracies.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ifQr8plItcXTpbkVdQeCvIfEcWuQD9FKMTU80

I wish our politicians would be accurate if not honest with their facts. Inhofe is doing a disservice to his constituents when he bends the truth.

Posted by: nboyle | May 11, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"I am also concerned about the seeming contempt she has demonstrated in her comments about the Senate confirmation process as well as her lack of impartiality when it comes to those who disagree with her position."

First, she has legitimate right to have some contempt for the Senate confirmation process because Senator Inhofe and his Republican cronies refused to even let her nomination come to vote back when Clinton nominated her for a Circuit Court position. Ironically, had they let her get on the bench she would have had the "experience" they are complaining she lacks. Isn't it funny that when the Democrats filibustered W's more right winged nutball Circuit judges, Republicans claimed they all deserved a fair up and down vote. Guess that rule does not apply to liberal nominees.

The second one, as previously pointed out by several others, is the quote about her her "lack of impartiality when it comes to those who disagree with her position" Really? I guess Senator Inhofe does not realize he is doing exactly the same thing. Deciding to vote against her before she has even had the chance to have a confirmation hearing? I know he probably would not vote for her anyway, but he could have at least gone through the motions of at least pretending to give the appearance of giving her a fair hearing.

Anyhow, thank you Oklahoma voters for sticking us with this neanderthal. Along with that kook Tom Coburn who believes in the death penalty for abortion doctors you gave us some real gems in the Senate.

Posted by: da55 | May 11, 2010 9:57 AM | Report abuse

The Tea Party mad hatter birthers appear to be out in force today. Inhofe has a fake birth certificate, the real one says father: snake, mother: cockroach, place of hatch: under a rock. The parents that raised him felt sorry for the humanlike creature with half a brain and raised him to become a GOP Senator from OK. Don't forget to pull your child from the carbon dating class Tea Party members, you don't want to disappoint Inhofe.

Posted by: jameschirico | May 11, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Judging how he took the Senate criticism personally makes me like her more after reading his article. The state with the worst education in the union elects the worst Senator in the Senate. Backing big oil offshore drilling, no royalties for 2 years on new wells, has all the old wells in OK capped increasing unemployment. Forget his votes, his ridiculous positions and statements, look at how many bills sponsored or co-sponsored to know the man is a dolt.

Posted by: jameschirico | May 11, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

"I am also concerned about...her lack of impartiality when it comes to those who disagree with her position."

Really? Mr. Tolerance actually uttered such a hypocritical statement?

Posted by: kemp13 | May 11, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Comes now the old white Huckabee ProCounsel quoting "fair and balanced" RNC Fox New and cherry-picking scriptures to bash liberals and Obama again (except of course, Leviticus 19:33 which his infallible scriptures tells him what we should do about illegal immigrants)

There is a hope (and a high probability) that this right-wing loony is tea bagger who will help split the Republican vote in November.

Posted by: areyousaying | May 11, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

So, what is new? The Republican party has become an ultra-radical, white mostly-southern-based group that expels moderates and minorities and even eats its own conservative members.

You couldn't be much more conservative than Bob Bennett was, and they flushed him down the toilet without even thinking about it.

Surely everyone would know for certain Inofhe was against this nomination.

Posted by: tinyjab40 | May 11, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

As part of their single minded agenda to make Obama fail, Republicans call out the attack do Inhofe to begin the hunt.

Inhofe is among the most vocal global warming skeptics in the US Congress. He is also known for his general opposition to LGBT rights, his support for the state of Israel, and his legislative efforts to make English the national language of the United States.
(from Wikipedia)

Old white Huckabees like Inhofe wants someone like Alito on the court who will bow down to big oil and big corporate interests by giving them more power than the people have.

Posted by: areyousaying | May 11, 2010 8:37 AM | Report abuse

It will be extra special for me to see Inhofe fume after Kagan is confirmed.

Posted by: macneilb | May 11, 2010 8:31 AM | Report abuse

I guess lack of impartially when disagreeing with someone belongs only to Imhofe.

Posted by: jfoster13 | May 11, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Is the Kagan nomination even "legal"?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/05/south_dakota_secretary_of_stat.html

Posted by: JakeD2 |

WOO HOO!!! Filibuster time!

Posted by: JakeD2

_________________________

Another child who got left behind.

(Why is it that they all become tea-bagging "birthers")?

Posted by: WhatHeSaid | May 11, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

It is dramatically obvious that when you disagree with someone who is right, you attack them personally. Look at the liberal postings in this blog-- how many address Kagan's qualifications and writings and how many attack Inhofe?

Posted by: Paddy1 | May 11, 2010 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Great. She is another elite liberal that hates the military. Ever notice how it is okay for lefties to hang-out at Harvard and enjoy the cloistered life, but if someone from outside (and military too!) enters, they circle the wagons? How will she react tucked away on the SCOTUS when "tough" cases intrude into her world?

Posted by: JohnnyGee | May 11, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Great. She is another elite liberal that hates the military. Ever notice how it is okay for lefties to hang-out at Harvard and enjoy the cloistered life, but if someone from outside (and military too!) enters, they circle the wagons? How will she react tucked away on the SCOTUS when "tough" cases intrude into her world?

Posted by: JohnnyGee | May 11, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

Imagine how slimed and yucky you would feel if Inhofe endorsed you. Yeah, so thanks for opposing the nomination--it confirms for the majority of us that Kagan must be sane, lucid, analytical, rational and capable of composed and thoughtful judgments.

Posted by: medogsbstfrnd | May 11, 2010 6:27 AM | Report abuse

Senator Inhofe is not a lawyer. "Check, please."

Posted by: bobbyfab44 | May 11, 2010 3:31 AM | Report abuse

If Pres. Obama nominated Inhofe to the Supreme Court, Inhofe would oppose him.

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Posted by: itkonlyyou52 | May 10, 2010 11:24 PM | Report abuse

As an executive of a company that went into receivership, I guess Inhofe may have some expertise in lack of qualifications for office, but he doesn't seem to grasp the qualifications for Supreme Court Justice. He should be honest and not question Kagan's qualifications, but simply admit he's afraid she won't be the corporate shill that Roberts and Alito are. After all, he was a corporate executive and may be presumed to favor the power of corporations over the rights of individuals.

Posted by: stuck_in_Lodi | May 10, 2010 10:36 PM | Report abuse

It's looking like justices are getting picked by Obama because they are a certain race or sexual orientation more than anything else. I can't even get to the point where I wonder if they are actually qualified when they are being intentionally sought out for these posts so obviously.

Posted by: LuckyGrad68 | May 10, 2010 10:23 PM | Report abuse

The senator from Oklahoma, the most intellectually challenged state in the union, opposes the nomination. Whopee dee.
Who cares Inhofe? Go back to your bible discussions about the earth being flat.

Posted by: cougartonyusa | May 10, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

"I am also concerned about the seeming contempt she has demonstrated in her comments about the Senate confirmation process as well as her lack of impartiality when it comes to those who disagree with her position."

This is what is called potkettling. I look at his opposition as the first test of the nominee. If he had supported her, most Democrats would be very nervous.

Posted by: steveboyington | May 10, 2010 9:08 PM | Report abuse

Does the supreme "intellect" of Inhofe even "believe" there is such a thing as a Supreme Court? Of course there's evidence such a court exists - but that's irrelevant to a man like this. The real question is: does the SC exist in his world?

Posted by: wandering1day | May 10, 2010 8:22 PM | Report abuse

If Jim Inhofe is against Elena Kagan's nomination, then Obama made a great choice. Groucho Marx once said that he would never join a club that would have him for a member. Just take the opposite side of Inhofe on any issue and you can be assured of being rational and moderate.

Posted by: jp1943 | May 10, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

Inhofe is the nutcase who thinks global warming is all a big commie conspiracy. Of course he would oppose Obama's choice of the most centrist candidate who was being batted around. The Taliban is never satisfied with what a free, modern people do.

Posted by: B2O2 | May 10, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

obama’s warped worldview
and how it dictates his supreme court nominations

during the sotomayor judicial tragedy, obama opined that “empathy” for the poor against the rich was a prime judicial qualification in his regime.

dear leader said:

"I will seek someone who understands that justice isn't about some abstract legal theory or footnote in a casebook; it is also about how our laws affect the daily realities of people's lives, whether they can make a living and care for their families, whether they feel safe in their homes and welcome in their own nation," Obama said. "I view that quality of empathy, of understanding and identifying with people's hopes and struggles, as an essential ingredient for arriving at just decisions and outcomes."

Source: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/05/01/obama-pushes-empathetic-supreme-court-justices/

see, the level playing field of justice in obamaland is not so level. seems team obama is not too worried about “empathy” for the fortune 500

but why does obama turn justice on its head?? simple–obama will automatically and without conscious thought ALWAYS oppose the biblical standard.

what are the Bible standards for Judges??

Leviticus 19:15 (New International Version)

15 " 'Do not pervert justice; do not show partiality to the poor or favoritism to the great, but judge your neighbor fairly.

Exodus 23:
2 "Do not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you give testimony in a lawsuit, do not pervert justice by siding with the crowd, 3 and do not show favoritism to a poor man in his lawsuit.

Deuteronomy 1:16-18 (New International Version)

16 And I charged your judges at that time: Hear the disputes between your brothers and judge fairly, whether the case is between brother Israelites or between one of them and an alien. 17 Do not show partiality in judging; hear both small and great alike. Do not be afraid of any man, for judgment belongs to God. Bring me any case too hard for you, and I will hear it. 18 And at that time I told you everything you were to do


Posted by: ProCounsel | May 10, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

Inhofe? That idiot can barely tie his own shoes.

Hey wingnuts? You're going to rant and rave and cry and moan and gnash your teeth for a couple of months over Kagan, even though you really have no reason to, you love the drama.

But when you're all done? You're going to lose. Kagan WILL be confirmed. All your drama queen hysterics will have been for nothing, and you will be left feeling even more powerless, irrelevant, and paranoid than when you started.

You deserve it.

Posted by: losthorizon10 | May 10, 2010 7:11 PM | Report abuse

When people start complaining that she has no judicial experience, keep in mind that before John Roberts, William Renquist was the Right's favorite chief justice,,, and he had no judicial experience yet became a great Supreme Court Justice and the Chief,,

so take that, all who claim she is insufficent due to lack of being on the bench,,,,

now bring on the next hypocrit

AND,,,, Look at her resume,,, she is very qualified to be a Supreme Court justice,

to those who say no, I ask this, what should their educational and professional pedigree look like if hers is not sufficient,,,

of course, no one they could suggest would look any better under that criteria, thus the hunt for the smoking gun of what her legal opinions might be and if differenct than mine,, VOTE NO

She has the complete mental capacity, education and legal training to rise to the top court in the land,,,

Beyond that,, pray that she keeps an open mind, a keen intellect and a devotion to understanding and applying the US Constitution,,

If she can do that, she will be all we could have asked for,,,,,,,, and she might become a great justice,,,

only time will tell

give her and life a break,,, get real

Posted by: EastCoastnLA | May 10, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

When people start complaining that she has no judicial experience, keep in mind that before John Roberts, William Renquist was the Right's favorite chief justice,,, and he had no judicial experience yet became a great Supreme Court Justice and the Chief,,

so take that, all who claim she is insufficent due to lack of being on the bench,,,,

now bring on the next hypocrit

AND,,,, Look at her resume,,, she is very qualified to be a Supreme Court justice,

to those who say no, I ask this, what should their educational and professional pedigree look like if hers is not sufficient,,,

of course, no one they could suggest would look any better under that criteria, thus the hunt for the smoking gun of what her legal opinions might be and if differenct than mine,, VOTE NO

She has the complete mental capacity, education and legal training to rise to the top court in the land,,,

Beyond that,, pray that she keeps an open mind, a keen intellect and a devotion to understanding and applying the US Constitution,,

If she can do that, she will be all we could have asked for,,,,,,,, and she might become a great justice,,,

only time will tell

give her and life a break,,, get real

Posted by: EastCoastnLA | May 10, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

When people start complaining that she has no judicial experience, keep in mind that before John Roberts, William Renquist was the Right's favorite chief justice,,, and he had no judicial experience yet became a great Supreme Court Justice and the Chief,,

so take that, all who claim she is insufficent due to lack of being on the bench,,,,

now bring on the next hypocrit

AND,,,, Look at her resume,,, she is very qualified to be a Supreme Court justice,

to those who say no, I ask this, what should their educational and professional pedigree look like if hers is not sufficient,,,

of course, no one they could suggest would look any better under that criteria, thus the hunt for the smoking gun of what her legal opinions might be and if differenct than mine,, VOTE NO

She has the complete mental capacity, education and legal training to rise to the top court in the land,,,

Beyond that,, pray that she keeps an open mind, a keen intellect and a devotion to understanding and applying the US Constitution,,

If she can do that, she will be all we could have asked for,,,,,,,, and she might become a great justice,,,

only time will tell

give her and life a break,,, get real

Posted by: EastCoastnLA | May 10, 2010 6:46 PM | Report abuse

In reading the U.S. Supreme Court decisions of the past decades, many initially written by law clerks hired by the Justices to ensure legal precedence based on their Justices' inclinations, and the requirement for a U.S. Supreme Court Justice to have so much legal judicial experience on the bench seems pretty thin basis as a requirement for a these justices. Instead wisedom and ability to be fair, just, and reasoned seemed to the upmost requirements and probably we more not less of them on the Bench.

Posted by: TabLUnoLCSWfromUtah | May 10, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Why is it a surprise that James Inhofe opposes Kagan. Inhofe is reputed to be the STUPIDEST person in the Senate. And if any one thinks that these right wing crazies won't do their level best to oppose this nomination, then they haven't been paying attention (it really doesn't matter if they have a reason or not).

Posted by: mlipsius | May 10, 2010 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Now, does Senator Jim not support Ms. Kagan's candidacy because she doesn't believe that the Earth is 6,000 years old? I find this confusing. 'Cause I kind of think that being DEAN OF HARVARD LAW SCHOOL probably pretty much qualifies you to be a judge or justice in any jurisdiction.

"Hey, Wilbur, ol' Buford says he wants to work for NASA sending rockets to Mars."

"That moron? Is he even qualified?"

"Are you kiddin'?! All that fool's done is been the Chair of Physics at MIT for the last twenty years! Did some undergrad work at Pitt!"

"I see what you mean. Got no practical experience. Why would he even apply? I say throw the bum out!"

Inhofe is laughable. Republicans - and right-wingers generally - are utterly laughable.

Posted by: chert | May 10, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone care what this slackjawed, inbred, teatard-pandering moron thinks about anything?

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | May 10, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

JakeD: you can't even read the comment correctly. The guy was saying he didn't buy the birther nonsense, and made the point that it would be the biggest scam of all time (suggesting how implausible it is), and then went on to say that you just have to accept the certifications at face value. the article points out that even that amounted to taking the bait, and that the other candidates weren't even polite about the birther nonsense.

Posted by: JoeT1 | May 10, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Inhofe just wanted to reassure his supporters that he hasn't grown a brain.

Posted by: luridone | May 10, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Inhofe just wanted to reassure his supporters that he hasn't grown a brain.

Posted by: luridone | May 10, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Is the Kagan nomination even "legal"?

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/right-now/2010/05/south_dakota_secretary_of_stat.html

Posted by: JakeD2 | May 10, 2010 3:39 PM
_____________________________
Yes. Birther fantasies to the contrary notwithstanding.

Posted by: luridone | May 10, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

pointing out that confirmation hearings are an exercise in kabuki theater qualifies her as insightful and candid. if Inhofe finds that insulting, he's the fool.

Posted by: JoeT1 | May 10, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Ugh. The idea that I would be on the same side as Sen. Inhofe on anything is NOT pleasing. However, for different reasons, I oppose Elena Kagan's nomination because her legal paper-thin record of taking a position on anything combined with her white, male, conservative affirmative action hiring as dean of Harvard Law means it's easy to imagine her being Chief Justice Roberts regular 5th vote in favor of an imperial presidency.

Posted by: ozma1 | May 10, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Inhofe--Just one of the many reasons people seem to have little confidence in the Republican Party these days.

Posted by: jlhare1 | May 10, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

With the departure of Larry Craig, Jim Infhofe assumed the title of "Wost U.S. Senator." Today, he reaffirms his position.

Posted by: BBear1 | May 10, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

Lucky for Kagan her first "opponent" happens to be a certified doofus.

Posted by: CopyKinetics | May 10, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Inhofe is a living, breathing moronic imbecile. Even Oklahomans should be ashamed of this buffoon. As are most of the hateful posters on WAPO.

Posted by: mtravali | May 10, 2010 4:19 PM | Report abuse

Sen. Inhofe (R-OK) is a "teabagging birther"?! He didn't lodge an objection over Obama's election.

Posted by: JakeD2 | May 10, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Hussein said that He "actively sought out the Marxist and Feminist professors" while he was in school. That's really all we need to know about this nominee.

Posted by: jhr1 | May 10, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

She will be confirmed EASY. Just gotta let the nut cases out there blow their wads, then it will be Justice Kagan. These tea bagging birthers are really comical....because you can't take them seriously. They're too stupid to take seriously.

Posted by: NothingButTheTruth | May 10, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

"...as well as her lack of impartiality when it comes to those who disagree with her position."

There is some rich irony.

Posted by: lostinthemiddle | May 10, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Jim! Keep up the good work.

Posted by: flintston | May 10, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD2 | May 10, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

WOO HOO!!! Filibuster time!

Posted by: JakeD2 | May 10, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

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