UPDATED: Virginia GOP vets take on Kagan over recruiting
A group of 10 Republican delegates and senators in the Virginia General Assembly are wading into the battle over President Obama's nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. All veterans, they are asking Democratic Sens. Jim Webb and Mark Warner to question Kagan about her opposition to military recruiting on campus during her tenure as dean of Harvard Law School.
Kagan opposed allowing military recruiters on campus because she believed the military's Don't Ask Don't Tell policy for gay service members violated Harvard's nondiscrimination policy. She wrote an amicus brief in a lawsuit designed to overturn the Solomon Amendment, which requires universities that accept federal funding to allow recruiters. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Kagan's position.
In a letter distributed by the Republican Party of Virginia, the legislators write, "We are deeply concerned about the judicial philosophy of a candidate for the highest court in our land that appears to have such a low regard for the men and women who wear our nation's uniforms."
The group ask Webb and Warner whether they agree with Kagan's position on the issue.
You can read the whole letter in pdf form here.
The RPV release also includes quotes from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli (R), who told us the other day that he had concerns about Kagan.
"Solicitor General Kagan is an accomplished member of the legal academy, but a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court demands an intense level of scrutiny. Her views regarding on-campus recruitment and lack of a substantive paper trail makes getting real answers during her confirmation hearing all the more important," Cuccinelli said in the release.
Interestingly, the release does not include statements from Gov. Bob McDonnell (R), himself an Army veteran. We've reached out to his office to see whether he shares the concerns about Kagan's record on this issue. We've also reached out to Warner and Webb's offices to hear what they have to say.
UPDATE 1:42 p.m.: We've received the following response from Jessica Smith, spokeswoman for Webb: "Nominees for the Supreme Court go through a great deal of scrutiny when they come before the Senate, starting with the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Webb looks forward to further reviewing Solicitor General Kagan's record during the confirmation process."
UPDATE 2:10 p.m.: Kevin Hall with Warner weighs in: ""Senator Warner will have an opportunity to meet with the Solicitor General in the coming weeks, and also looks forward to closely following the Judiciary Committee hearings on her nomination."
UPDATE 5:58 p.m.: Stacey Johnson, a spokeswoman for McDonnell, has gotten back to us as well. Yes, McDonnell is concerned about Kagan's record on military recruiting on college campuses: ""Elena Kagan certainly has impressive academic credentials. However, the Governor is concerned about her lack of a judicial record and experience. He is also specifically concerned about her decision to prohibit military recruiters from the Harvard law school campus during the middle of a two-stage war. The Governor hopes that she is given a fair and just hearing by the United States Senate and he looks forward to learning more about her judicial philosophy," Johnson said in an email.
May 13, 2010; 12:08 PM ET
Categories: Ken Cuccinelli , Robert F. McDonnell , Rosalind Helderman
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