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Republicans want to see Kagan's memos for Bill Clinton

By Shailagh Murray
Senate Republicans pledged Tuesday to give Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan a tough grilling this summer, and they expressed particular interest in her tenure as a domestic policy adviser to President Bill Clinton.

"It is a confirmation, it's not a coronation," said Sen. Jeff Sessions (Ala.), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Concerned about Kagan's thin paper trail and lack of judicial experience, GOP senators said they would seek to learn more about Kagan's Clinton White House service as a potential window into her thinking on major issues. Sessions said he would seek memos and other materials from that period of Kagan's career, which stretched from 1997 to 1999.

"I think that she has a good bit of record," said Sessions. But he added, that record is not yet public, and "it's not the kind of record that allows her to establish the kind of disciplined mental clarity that a great justice on the Supreme Court should have. So that will be part of the way it will be discussed."

Ron Klain, chief counsel to Vice President Biden, told reporters Monday that a White House decision about releasing the Clinton documents to senators had not been reached. "I'm sure the committee will request those papers, and we'll reach an accommodation with the Clinton Library on that," said Klain. "We've got to see what the committee wants to see and we'll go from there."

Republicans said they also would press Kagan on her decision as Harvard Law School dean to bar military recruiters from campus, on grounds that the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays and lesbians violated the university's discrimination policies.

"The nominee has thin experience, has had some very aggressive political views in her life," said Sessions. "It's going to be critical that whoever puts on the robe of the Supreme Court justice, that they be committed to following the law, even if they don't like it, even if they don't -- they wish it had been different."

Sen. Jon Kyl (Ariz.), the No. 2 Republican in the Senate, characterized Kagan as "very exercised" in her handling of the recruiting incident and said her decision is a legitimate line of inquiry. "My guess is the issue will come up," Kyl said.

By Post Editor  |  May 11, 2010; 3:59 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , The Courts  
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Posted by: itkonlyyou56 | May 12, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Elena Kagan is well prepared educationally and experientially for the position of Supreme Court Justice. It is very pathetic that Senators Session and McConnell are planning to sabotage or railroad this appointment. They need to really take a look at themselves personally and professionally. They are not for progress or promoting things that benefit the good of society.

Posted by: Optimist1948 | May 12, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

What is it these blinder-wearing, slavering extremists are trying to prove--other than that she's not a flaming conservative?

This is not exactly an old police blotter they're talking about.

Posted by: TomCamfield | May 12, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Simple as hell! Tell 'em "executive privilege!!" Cheney, and, to a lesser extent, Bush used that term when there was every reason in the world to suspect some big time law breaking.

When Cheney turns over the minutes and all notes from that in secret mtg with the heads of big American oil the Republicans can ask for her memoranda on something that she did out in the open and which was fully covered by the press.

The Democrats are far from perfect but, if just a slight majority of Americans gave just a trace of objective thought to what Congressional Republicans do every damn time, there wouldn't be even one of them in either house.

Posted by: winger1 | May 12, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Do we really want another Progressive, Socialist, Marxist, Liberal , Democrat with power to control our lives even more?

Now that we know what Socialist Democrats really want to do to our country the answer is a firm Hell No!

The Supreme Court is there to enforce the principles of our founders as stated in our Constitution to protect we the people from an overbearing, over regulating, over taxing big government!

We now have enemies to our freedom within the Federal Government!

We need to get rid of them not add to the head count!

No more Progressive, Socialist, Marxist, Left Wing Radical Democrats!

GOD SAVE THE COUNTRY !

Impeach all Socialists in the government!

They took a oath to support and obey the Constitution of these United States!

As a Progressive, Socialist, Marxist ,Liberal you can not obey the oath of office that you took!

King George would be proud of Obama and his Cohorts!

Posted by: Acornisascam | May 12, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Hussein said that when he was in school he sought out "the Marxist and Structural Feminist" professors. That's all we need to know about this ivory tower hag.

Posted by: jhr1 | May 11, 2010 10:24 PM | Report abuse

Wrong person, wrong position and never a right time! No way and I hope she goes away.

Posted by: imaginemore | May 11, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

Wrong person, wrong position and never a right time! No way and I hope she goes away.

Posted by: imaginemore | May 11, 2010 8:01 PM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. President: If you want an experienced smart Jewish woman on the Supreme Court, Judge Judy is that woman. She makes decisions on cases involving the common man and woman in America.

Harvard elitists that never practiced law, appeared in court, sat in even a small claims court, never a prosecutor or a defense attorney. She has argued 6 cases before SCOTUS because Obama gave her the gig.
This is a nice brilliant woman who has asserted herself on the wrong side of freedom of speech, press and expression. She is wrong for the court, but Obama could have appointed worse. He could have appointed himself.

Posted by: LETFREEDOMRING2 | May 11, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

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