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Scott Brown: I'll vote against Kagan

Associated Press

Republican Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts says he'll vote against confirming Elena Kagan to be a Supreme Court justice.

The first-term senator was widely regarded as a potential Republican vote for President Barack Obama's nominee, who already has the backing of five other Republicans and is assured of confirmation by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Brown announced his plans Thursday just hours before the Senate vote.

(See our Kagan endorsement tracker.)

Brown says in a statement that he considers Kagan brilliant, but that he can't vote for a Supreme Court nominee who doesn't have judicial or courtroom experience.

Kagan has served as the Obama administration's solicitor general and has been dean of Harvard Law School.

His full statement:

"I approach the duty of voting on nominees to the United States Supreme Court with a deep sense of the constitutional responsibility of the Senate to provide its advice and consent. Elena Kagan's nomination is my first opportunity to consider a nominee to the Supreme Court. First, let me say that I have a great deal of respect for Elena Kagan. She has an impressive resume, and in my private meeting with her I found her to be brilliant, as you might expect from a former dean of Harvard Law School. However, I cannot vote to confirm Elena Kagan. The reason is simple. I believe nominees to the Supreme Court should have previously served on the bench. Lacking that, I look for many years of practical courtroom experience to compensate for the absence of prior judicial experience. In Elena Kagan's case, she is missing both. When it comes to the Supreme Court, experience matters. No classroom can substitute for the courtroom itself, where decisions are made that affect the day-to-day lives of American citizens, and where one's judicial character and temperament is shaped in favor of the fair and just application of the law. The best umpires, to use the popular analogy, must not only call balls and strikes, but also have spent enough time on the playing field to know the strike zone. Therefore, I cannot support Elena Kagan's nomination."

For more information, go to PostPolitics.com.

By Associated Press  |  August 5, 2010; 1:37 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency  
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Comments

We will live to regret this very soon I am afraid. As if Obama has not done enough harm to the country these Progressive Democrats & the 5 Progressive Republicans have put someone into one of the most important jobs of the entire country. She does not deserve the position & we, the American people, do not deserve her & her radical ideas.

Posted by: egw7777 | August 5, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Actually, Judges are VERY FREQUENTLY attorneys who were NOT very good lawyers!

Posted by: Maerzie | August 5, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

What an ignorant way to try to get noticed! It will LOSE more popularity for him than GAIN any, but what can I say!? He's just proving his inability to think ahead, NOT a good sign for ANY Senator!!

Can we see exactly HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE he had at being a Senator??

"Simple is as simple does!"

Posted by: Maerzie | August 5, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

Intellectually dishonest.

And his "popular analogy" is way off base. Most MLB umpires were never players or coaches in the Major Leagues. He asserts that Elena Kagan can't interpret the rules because she didn't have much prior experience as a practising lawyer, or a judge. Any to support this he misapplies an analogy in which umpires interpret rules without ever having played MLB themselves.

With that type of logic, thank goodness he'll never be on the court.

Posted by: jrz1 | August 5, 2010 6:02 PM | Report abuse

I can't understand how anyone can consider this shallow thinking. As a senator, Massachusetts can remove him at the next election. As a supreme court judge, we have her until she retires. Where else can anyone get a lifetime job without any practical experience? Even deans at Harvard Law school can be dismissed but not from the supreme court. I certainly did not sit through the confirmation process but I appreciate a bit of thought before granting a lifetime career to anyone without practical experience backing up their resume.

Posted by: nhoscar | August 5, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

What a shallow reason for voting against a Supreme Court nominee. So, he would have voted to confirm if she had had a couple of years on the bench as a District Court judge or a state court judge. What a joke. He just wants to keep his far right, tea party "credentials" in order.

And as someone has already said, his credentials to be a U.S. Senator were....

Posted by: Oxnard | August 5, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Great! Brown FINALLY votes for the Republic and with the Party of Know.

Posted by: IQ168 | August 5, 2010 5:14 PM | Report abuse

And yet, they let Scott Brown be a Senator with experience in what?

Posted by: Itsasadday | August 5, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh...One more note of course to Real Texan and ALL here...VOTE OUT and NOT IN -
ALL THOSE in the PARTY OF NO this Fall!!!
and by the way...they are appropriately named
the party of NO - Since they have NO IDEAS...and in so many cases NO BRAINS either...and many so clearly can not think for themselves...that is why they do NOT do any press interviews!!! Scripted responses and writing on their hands - that is what they are capable of - only.

Posted by: rbarry13 | August 5, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Please NO - WAIT - STOP - Real Texan says that WE - being the Dems - "they would dismantle the Constitution"
No that must be a mistake - RT did NOT mean to say that...
LET US Fact Check this one...Is it not the Republicans who are wanting to RE-Write the 14th Amendment???!!! NOW who really wants to dismantle the Constitution?! They also want the states (not Federal gov't) to handle illegal immigrants & select our Senators, they want to repeal the part that protects marriage equality, repeal the 16th amendment, repeal Congress' authority to spend money & regulate the economy & we have not even touched what they would do to change civil rights legislation in this country!!! Is this the switch and bait game...I KNOW which SIDE wants to change the Constitution!

Posted by: rbarry13 | August 5, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

A "No" vote is an honest vote in this case.

Interesting that while the Republicans and Democrats have different ideologies, only the Democrats see the Constitution as an obstacle to be overcome or gone-around. Were the Democrats to have their choice, they would dismantle the Constitution and turn this nation into a European-style police state where merely speaking or writing your views could land you in jail.

Vote out all the Dems in 2010 and 2012. All of them.

Posted by: RealTexan1 | August 5, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse


Of course. I mean, look how terribly Rehnquist turned out.

The reason to dislike Kagan is because her record is sparse and she has demonstrated little passion for this kind of position. But harping on her lack of judicial experience overlooks the fact that many great jurists (like Rehnquist) came into the Supreme Court relatively peach-faced.

Posted by: ledirigible | August 5, 2010 3:00 PM
_____________________________________
Rehnquist a great jurist? In what alternate bizarro universe? He was a disaster. In fact, he's a good argument for voting against Kagan. Of course, he was a political hack of mediocre intellect, while she is a brilliant legal mind. Fortunately, there are much better examples to point to to justify supporting her - Louis Brandeis, Earl Warren, William Douglas, John Marshall among others all lacked prior judicial experience. To claim that a nominee is unqualified without prior judicial experience displays a deplorable ignorance of history and/or a pathetic attempt to justify being part of the "NO" party.

Posted by: luridone | August 5, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Of course. I mean, look how terribly Rehnquist turned out.

The reason to dislike Kagan is because her record is sparse and she has demonstrated little passion for this kind of position. But harping on her lack of judicial experience overlooks the fact that many great jurists (like Rehnquist) came into the Supreme Court relatively peach-faced.

Posted by: ledirigible | August 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Brother, and that called Kerry a flip-flopper?

Posted by: davidlhanegraaf | August 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Even though I'm not surprised, I can respect Scott's opinion and his choice.

Posted by: UnknownHenson | August 5, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Racist!

Posted by: jiji1 | August 5, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

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