July 2nd, 2010
12:01 PM ET
4 years ago

Hatch to oppose Kagan nomination

Sen. Orrin Hatch announced Friday that he will not support Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.
Sen. Orrin Hatch announced Friday that he will not support Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.

Washington (CNN) – Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch will oppose the nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court, he said Friday.

Hatch, the Republican former chairman and current member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, characterizes Kagan as a "good person" and "brilliant scholar," before saying "I cannot support her appointment to the Supreme Court."

"Qualifications for judicial service include both legal experience and, more importantly, the appropriate judicial philosophy," Hatch says in a statement. "The law must control the judge; the judge must not control the law. I have concluded that, based on evidence rather than blind faith, General Kagan regrettably does not meet this standard and that, therefore, I cannot support her appointment."

Hatch supported Kagan's nomination to her current post of solicitor general, but says that Kagan does not meet "the standard I have always used for judicial nominees."

Hatch also opposed the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, but before that, the veteran Republican voted for every high court nominee in his long Senate career, including President Clinton's two liberal choices, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

Largely mirroring the most pointed lines of questioning that Kagan faced during her confirmation hearings, Hatch cites judicial activism and controversial decisions made by Kagan while she was Dean of Harvard Law School as areas of concern.

"Over nearly 25 years, General Kagan has endorsed, and praised those who endorse, an activist judicial philosophy. I was surprised when she encouraged us at the hearing simply to discard or ignore certain parts of her record. I am unable to do that," Hatch said before adding "As Dean of Harvard Law School, she blocked the access by military recruiters that federal law requires. And she took legal positions on important issues such as freedom of speech that could undermine the liberties of all Americans."

Hatch faces re-election in 2012, in a conservative state that saw its junior senator, Robert Bennett, defeated by more conservative candidates in this year's GOP primary process.

–CNN's Dana Bash and Bill Mears contributed to this report


Filed under: Elena Kagan • Orrin Hatch • Popular Posts • Supreme Court
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. stop the yelling

    Hmmm imagine that Hatch the Hack will vote no. He would prefer a Repuck candidate so they can condemn your property for big business. a Repuck that will allow big business or foreign governments to buy American elections oh thats right Robert and Alito all ready have done that
    or one that uses The N word to describe our president when he's in his own home just like the rest of the racist republicans from the south that cannot stand that we have a black president

    July 2, 2010 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  2. Amy

    I unfortunately live in utah and i HATE it. i was born and raised in Iowa I wasn't born to hate anyone who was a different race than me. I have seen ample hatred here in Utah . Utahns discriminate against anyone who isnt white, rich or Mormon. I remember moving here when i was 22 years old and after i graduatefd from a tech school. I got a job working at a Mall that no longer exists and because i was a Smoker i was fired because the 3 mormon girls said that if they didnt fire me they would walk and my manager at the time fired me because she couldbnt afford to lose 3 employees The Mormon girls were pissed that i got a Smoke break and they chose not to take breaks.

    I oppose anyone who teaches hated and bigotry.

    July 2, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. Mack

    Didn't Hatch vote affirmative to confirm Elena Hagan as Solicitor General? So, why the NO vote now?

    Hatch is almost as orange as Boehner; they probably have side-by-side tanning beds!!

    July 2, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Oppose all you want, Sen. Hatch. She will, however, be confirmed.

    GOP = AMERICAN TALIBAN

    July 2, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  5. mar

    Experience is an important requirement for a job you are applying for. Look at the terrible current situation the US economy is in because we elected a Present with no governing or leadership experience. Look at the current President leadership on the oil spill. Do we want another idelogicial person selected to a position for life, who do not have the right experience. Let's first give her an appoiuntment to the lower court where she can gain some ecxperience before appointing her to the highest court in the land

    July 2, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  6. DemHater

    Hey all you Commies .... Obama voted agains Alito, does that make him a hack?

    July 2, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  7. Michael Shea

    I have always disagreed with Senator Hatch on policy matters, but unlike some of his fellow conservatives I thought he was more open to supreme court nominees like Elena Kagan.

    Hatch was best friends with the late Senator Ted Kennedy so I thought that some of Ted's liberalism might have rubbed off. They even sponsored legislation as co-sponsors.

    I have a feeling Hatch is worried about the 2012 election since his colleague Senator Bennet was defeated in the primary by right-wing extremists

    July 2, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  8. Florida Joe

    Insert SHOCK here..........What a surprise............Don't you love how these Repubs say this yet when Roberts and company do exactly what they said they wouldn't do.....that's fine...........What a bunch...

    July 2, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  9. todd

    A communist on the supreme court , Obama would be thrilled!

    July 2, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  10. fred astaire

    If it was a rep. appoint candidate, the dems would oppose no matter what.
    Nothing is done for the good of the country. everything is done to keep votes for the next election

    July 2, 2010 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  11. DemHater

    Corporations Rock! They allow the producers to support you fat lazy people that enable Obama and his daddy bill ayers to kill this nation.

    July 2, 2010 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  12. Wake Up

    How in this world can this be? He can support Sarah Palin with all her faults but an educated scholar does not meet his standards. My guess is his standards are "very low"".

    July 2, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  13. Republicans Are The American Taliban

    Remember that the Taliban hates women....oh yeah...and America getting the Olympics....

    July 2, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  14. NVa Native

    WOW – what a surprise!
    The angry very old white guy (career govt worker) says NO to supporting our President's nomination for the Supreme Court (and everything else) ~ "wonder if he's a republican?"

    Do the repubs realize that anyone can go back and see that the repubs have voted NO on everything that Obama has tried to do or promote? Even if previously it was their idea or part of their platform.
    Of course the real question is do the repubs even understand what their actions, or lack of actions, mean?

    July 2, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. Jason B.

    First, of course he was fine with Clinton's choices. It was OK to be a moderate Republican then. Gotta be far right now to pander to your base.

    Second, how was she blocking the recruiter's access? As I understand it she only told them they had to use a different office than the one they wanted.

    Third, no where does it say you have to have judicial experience to be a judge on the Supreme Court. Technically, they could nominate me if they so chose.

    Heck, at this point Jesus himself could've been nominated by Obama and the GOP would have a hissy-fit.

    July 2, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  16. What did they say?

    OK, and how was this really surprising? A conservative from "UTAH" won't support a progressive......."NO" should be the campaign slogan for every Republican in November.

    July 2, 2010 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  17. La Piovra

    The usual plot is Hatched: filibuster till you get your way. Meanwhile, Senator Reid, have you heard of the wonderful salad herb we have in Florida? It's called dumbcane.

    July 2, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  18. Wake Up

    O. Hatch needs a reality check. How in this world can this be? He can support Sarah Palin with all her faults but an educated scholar does not meet his standards. My guess is his standards are "very low"".

    July 2, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  19. PaulaAP

    Hatch disappoints me, simply because he has reached across the aisle before – and he knows she will make an excellent jurist – just not a conservative, "interpret the Constitution as it was written when women and Negros were property" jurist, which is all the white, old, male GOP wants to continue running the country. Look out – minorities rule in less than 10 more years! And I'm not talking the dumbass, white-wannabe Clarence Thomas-type of minorities, either.

    July 2, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  20. Michael Trout

    Hatch is trying to ingraciate himeself to the hard right; he knows they own the gop now.

    July 2, 2010 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  21. Jamie from Riverside

    What a surprise!

    July 2, 2010 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. juge

    Politics seems to dictate your various stands. Once you are elected, the peoples best interest should be the dictating force and that means working TOGETHER. NO is not an option – MAYBE might be what is needed so that everybody can back away from politics as usual and work in concert to make America the best it can be. It can be nothing if it is polarized for purely political reasons. Nobody would dictate to me – no member of any party or corporation – if I was in your position.

    July 2, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  23. not_lqqking

    The stench of fear in these republicans is palpable. I wonder if he ascribed the good person and a brilliant scholar when supporting Thomas to the bench or Alito or Roberts for that matter. Nah, he's afraid he'll follow Bennet model in Utah.

    July 2, 2010 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  24. Bertina

    Conservatives can no longer claim that liberals are the only ones who vote in activits judges.

    July 2, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    If Hatch opposes her, she must be good.

    July 2, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
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