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Excerpts from remarks by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

The following are excerpts from Sen. Orrin Hatch's (R-UT) opening remarks:

On Kagan's likelihood of confirmation:

"I want to welcome you back to the Judiciary Committee, General Kagan. Something tells me this is likely to be your last confirmation hearing. "

On Kagan's legal qualifications:

"Qualifications for judicial service include both legal experience and -- and judicial philosophy. While legal experience summarizes the past, judicial philosophy describes how a nominee will approach judging in the future."


"I have to make my decision whether to support or not support her nomination on the basis of evidence, not on blind faith. I've never considered the lack of judicial experience to be an automatic disqualifier for a judicial nominee. Approximately one-third of the 111 men and women who have served on the Supreme Court have had no previous judicial experience. "

On policy and politics as it is relevant to The Court:

"One of my Democratic colleagues on this committee recently said that Ms. Kagan's strongest qualifications for the Supreme Court are her experience in crafting policy and her ability to build consensus. The value of such experience depends on whether you view the Supreme Court as a political circus or view its role as crafting policy."

Questioning Kagan's judicial philosophy:

"Unfortunately, many judges today do not see it that way but believe that they may themselves govern the Constitution. The Senate and the American people need to know which kind of justice General Kagan will be.

Will the Constitution control her? Or will she try to control the Constitution?

Does she believe that the words of the Constitution and statutes can be separated from their meaning so that the people and their elected representatives put words on the page but judges may determine what those words actually mean?

Does she believe it is valid for judges to mold and steer the law to achieve certain social ends?

Does she believe that a judge's personal experiences and values may be the most important element in her decisions?

Does she believe that courts exist to protect certain interests?

Does she believe that judges may control the Constitution by changing its meaning?

Does she believe that judges may change the meaning of statutes in order to meet what judges believe are new social objectives?

These are just some of the questions that go to the heart of a nominee's judicial philosophy. "

On Kagan's past writings:

"Now, Ms. Kagan outlined that approach, which she argued as necessary for Supreme Court confirmation hearings to be more than "vacuity and farce," in a law journal article when she was a tenured law professor, after working for this committee on a Supreme Court confirmation.

I believe you'll hear a lot about your remarks in the past in your law review article in the past.


By Emi Kolawole  |  June 28, 2010; 2:08 PM ET
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Next: Excerpts from remarks by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA)

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