June 28th, 2010
01:08 PM ET
4 years ago

Sessions, Leahy deliver opening statements

(CNN) - Elena Kagan lacks judicial experience and has a record of supporting liberal political causes, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said Monday at the confirmation hearing for Kagan's Supreme Court nomination.

"While academia certainly has value, there is no substitute, I think, for being in the harness of the law, handling real cases," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, said in his opening statement.

His Democratic colleague, Sen. Patrick Leahy, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said that Kagan would be an independent Supreme Court justice, and that he advised her to be open in expressing her judicial philosophy at her confirmation hearing.


Filed under: Elena Kagan • Jeff Sessions
soundoff (35 Responses)
  1. Marcus

    "While academia certainly has value, there is no substitute, I think, for being in the harness of the law, handling real cases," Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, said in his opening statement.

    She's not the first nor will be the last 'no bench experience' person appointed to the SCOTUS.
    Next stupid talking point to be easily debunked, please?

    June 28, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  2. stevetall

    The current Republican attitude sucks. I wish these people would grow up and start participating in politics like the statesmen they should be. Is acting like little bitches actually working for them and their constituents? It's especially sad if it is.

    June 28, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  3. gt

    leahy is old , mean , anti social jerk ,,, kagan will be as independent as the justice she is to replace,,,, far left......

    June 28, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  4. The Other Micheal in Houston

    Hey Sessions, did you have US Senator experience prior to getting elected, no. Stupid arguement. Knowing the law is very important when enforcing the laws and constitution of the US. Is this the best you Repbulican Jihadist can come up with?

    June 28, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. ggg

    Persident Obama had No experience and look at the Mess he has created...yes him NOT BUSH.(getting really old hearing the blame factor) Kagan has No experience as a judge and her background Not so good...VOTE NO!!!!

    June 28, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    Maybe a white robe and hood would get Sessions' approval.

    He's been a sleaze for more years than most people know.

    June 28, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  7. otto1967

    I guess sessions will readily admit then that Rehnquist was a confounded moron? Didn't think so.

    June 28, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    Mr Sessions should then propose a law saying that all politicians elected to national posts ( congress and above) have both practical business experience AND a have a minimum of a degree in economics.
    These poeple get into the Congress with no practical experience and then make laws about our finanaces with no accounting backgrounds.
    I would rather have a scholar intruperate the Constitution – a document anyone can read – than have a perosn deciding the financial future of this country without a clue what they are doing.
    Mr Sessions need to climb back under his rock and hope his constituents don't look are his voting record or background for qualifications.

    June 28, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. independent

    The GOP Senators should not ask her about activism because the current 'Conservative' court is one of the most activist.

    They may ask her about 'States Rights', but only because the Conservatives waffle on it so much. They only believe in State's Rights when they use it to uphold one of their pet philosophies, i.e. denying civil liberties to minorities. When it comes to regulating gun ownership, they don't believe in local government at all.

    A well regulated militia, and the people, are the key terms in that constitutional amendment, not individuals.

    June 28, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. sammieb51

    Nothing wrong with being Liberal in the current political climate - Sessions needs to review some of the recent comments he and his southern compadres have made because apparently any idea or program that came to light in the last 50 years is a little too "progressive" for them. And what sort of 'courtroom' experience did Roberts have? - served the WH under Reagan and what else? I thought he was primarily 'corporate' counsel. Kagan - president of Harvard Law School - she might actually know the law. In this climate, we need more O'Connor/Ginsberg and less Robert/Scalia.

    June 28, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. blancheispoison

    God forbid our elected president have an opportunity to counteract the conservative activism of Alito, Thomas and Roberts with someone whose views are closer to his own.

    June 28, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  12. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Well now we have started the confirmation hearings of an inept, incompetent supreme court candidate appointed by an inept, corrupt, union toady president. Notice my 401k is in negative territory once again thanks to the worthless porkulus and TARP and Obozocare spending sprees. Also note that oil washing up on Mississippi beaches today. Can't help wonder if that would have happened if Obozo had not refused foreign offers to help so he wouldn't make the unions unhappy. That is our president, destroy a good portion of our country, but don't offend a union. Corrupt, Inept.

    June 28, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Even though we have had Justices in the past who have not had any experience in being a judge, I think it is a bad idea.

    There is a world of difference between examining cases from an academic standpoint and being the person making actual decisions that affect people's lives.

    I wish that President Obama would, instead, select someone with actual experence as a judge, preferably at the Appelate level.

    A Justice on the Supreme Court of the United States is not an entry level job.

    June 28, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Sessions is a racist idiot!

    June 28, 2010 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. BeverlyNC

    Republican Senator Sessions was a total disrespectful jerk making false and purely political game-playing statements in his opening remarks. Once again Republicans show they have no concern for the issues at hand. It's about being nasty, hateful, lies, and rooting for failure for the future of our nation.

    Shame on Republicans for their unpatriotic disregard for our government processes and rules of law. They are corporate lap dogs who have done nothing but work against the working people of America, show us disdain, and vote NO on everything that coud have helped the middle class faster.

    Democrats delivered these solutions but not without a fight to the death with the hateful Republicans who blocked, played Senate rule games, used more filibusters in Senate history, and told outright lies on the media to try ensure their goal of failiure of our nation.

    It's past time to get these do-nothing, solutionless, leaderless, no integrity, no values Republicans out of our government. We need leaders who take their oath to serve the PEOPLE seriously..and that is Democrats who have delivered for the middle class all year.

    Sessions is just bitter because the Senate found HIM unqualified to be a Federal Judge.

    June 28, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  16. GP

    What we need are more activist judges like Alito, Roberts, Scalia and Thomas.

    Look at the precedence they've overturned. Look at their exceeding the original argument in the Citizens United case which will now allow any corporation to spend unlimited amounts of money advocated OR pillaring political opponents.

    June 28, 2010 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  17. ehwilson429

    another Ivy Leaguer.
    the first disqualification for any political job should be if you attended Harvard or Yale.

    Tha USA has filled the quotas for these two institutions of inside the box thinking. 94% of attendees receive the grade of "A".

    June 28, 2010 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  18. Chandler01

    Mr. Sessions apparently was absent the day they discussed the Surpreme Court in school. MANY justices were Solicitor General before becoming members of the court. How can he ignore that?????

    He also must have missed the bi-partisan letter from former Solicitor Generals that said they thoguht Kagan was more than qualified.

    June 28, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  19. Gil

    I suppose we can expect more zombie like NO's out of the Party of NO? They seem to be stuck with one purpose! To prevent progress in Congress and to keep backing the Big Oil, Big Business and Wall Strteet block that they almost let ruin our country financially. Thank you gw who started this mess in the first place.

    June 28, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  20. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Jeff Sessions being useless as usual. What a complete waste.

    June 28, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  21. Willy Brown

    Senator Mumbles from VT. to open the session.

    June 28, 2010 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  22. Who Cares?

    I swear to God if one of these Republicans Senators talks about Kagan possibly being an "activist judge" and doesn't get called down by every Democratic Senator while pointing out how the Conservative judges are doing just that.....I'm done with both parties.

    June 28, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  23. haren

    We are civilized society and depends on Courts and police for protection.
    I never understood this second amendment to carry gun.
    If we take law in our hand than why we need Police force or any court or legal system.
    You are unemployed and if senate blocks the extension than may be some Nut is going to do big job by using second amendment.

    June 28, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  24. phoenix86

    Lots of facts and past statements from Kagan are going to come out during this hearing. Expect mass hysteria from liberals, who generally violently oppose the truth.

    June 28, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  25. Brian Dodge

    No doubt Senator Sessions would support someone with more experience – like Reagan appointee and oil company investor Judge Martin Feldman, who found in favor of the oil companies seeking to overturn the temporary moratorium on deepwater oil drilling, claiming '... the government has no evidence that existing operations pose a threat to the Gulf of Mexico"

    Been to the Alabama beaches lately, Jeff? How's the water down there?
    How's that "drill, baby, drill" thingy working out?

    June 28, 2010 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
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