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. Susan in NC

    What a surprise - NOT!

    July 2, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. Danny Cali

    Here they're go again another big "NO" I think GOPer going to stay with the big NO in their life.

    July 2, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Oregon Calling

    When this country was founded not all had judicial experiance so that they could have the different views from different backgrounds.

    Peace :-)

    July 2, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  4. robert

    what do we have in here? a bunch of first-graders? looks like it by the type of responses and insults thrown about.

    July 2, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  5. joe smith

    two thirds of the bench is Catholic, and with the general, one third will be Jewish..fine cross section of Americana..

    July 2, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  6. Patty

    Shouldn't someone serving on the Supreme Court at least have some judicial experience? I do not doube Ms. Kagan's education-it is stellar. To be a justice, you should have experience in a courtroom as a judge on some level.

    July 2, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. g

    what iam looking for are corp. leaning judges like robert

    July 2, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Agrippa

    Kagan is highly qualified. There are unfortunately no intellectual qualifications for United States Senators.

    July 2, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. andrey

    From what I've seen and heard in the last year there is only one conclusion – Republicans are TRAITORS to this country, they would love to see the country fail, fail, fail, on all fronts. You hear that republicans – You are TRAITORS. You sellouts will sabotage anything and everything, keep going, people are watching.

    July 2, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. D.J.

    Maybe we can actually talk about the issues at stand in nominating Kagen rather than spewing out trite talking points against those rascist white republicans. Does the fact that Kagen does not believe in inalienable rights, says that the government can forcefully take away political pamphlets, or refuses to say if the commerce clause allows the government to mandate every American to eat their vegetables scare anyone?

    But yea, lets just rip on Hatch for standing up for what he believes in and from defending our country from being more taken over by Washington. Republicans just want poor people to get sick and die!

    July 2, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  11. Grog in Ohio

    In other words, Senator Hatch is voting as the NRA told him to! Wimp.

    July 2, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  12. Rickster

    Orin Hatch has just been elevated a few notches in my book. Every decent American should oppose the left-wing loon Kagan.

    July 2, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  13. jeb bush 2

    ol hatch and sessions long for them good ol days of the 60's where they ruled. and the republicans ran the roost and were untouchable, they are the extremist right it is written all over their face. this country is in plantation mode. where the rich are hollering and crying foul but the truth is they are all well off. while the masses take the hit. the jedi principle. is "are you going to believe me or your lie'n eyes. if them safety desposit boxes could talk in the cayman islands they would shut this GOV'T down.

    July 2, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  14. Lawrence

    And he supported the nominations of Judge Scalia and Judge Thomas. Republicans (you see one, you see them all) believe that they can camouflage their agenda, hypocrisy, and dishonesty. Why not put your deceiful, scare tactics on hold, oh Pro-Life, Pro-War, Pro-Gun, Anti-Health Care, Anti-Immigration Reform Senator, and vote to give a hand to our unemployed sisters and brothers. What family values do you reflect,as you tacitly reject the values of Thurgood Marshall and wholeheartedly embrace the values of Rush Limbaugh?

    July 2, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  15. Sam Ellison

    If Obama endorsed beef, all Republicans would become vegetarians.

    July 2, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  16. AmericaAgain

    Meh.... Both Pubs and Dems are Socialists now with their own personal agendas. Neither care about the freedoms given to us by the founders and the U.S. Constitution. Instead of further, and appropriately, separating ourselves from the rest of the world, we continue to look to them to solve our problems which they never have nor ever will experience to our degree.

    July 2, 2010 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  17. spottingLies

    This is news? He is a Republican –> He votes "no". Simple.

    July 2, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    You consistenly make me ashamed to be from Utah, Senator Hatch. You supported the fascist regime of Bush and Cheney for 8 years including their condoning torture. You voted against health care and you opposed people who would bring intelligence and balance to the Supreme Court. It is long past the time when you should retire.

    July 2, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  19. Dumbasrocks [R]s

    Well....this isn't the first IQ test he's failed.

    Or......maybe he has the IQ, but not enough courage to go against his NRA puppet-masters.

    Dumb or cowardly, and many times BOTH....that describes today's [R] party to a 'tee'.

    July 2, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  20. j2bin

    democRATS are the hyprocrites. How can you put a biased judge in the Supreme Court. She will just be used a stamp pad for Obama's socialistic agenda. America, wake up! This country is becoming a non-Christian, Islam-leaning, socialistic society.

    July 2, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Ferret out the BS

    I think it's interesting that the implications from Mr Hatch's statement is that once a philosophy is established we (as humans) are stuck to that philosophy and will never grow or change throughout out lives. Which is to imply that we do not think and just act on precepts formed in our youth. He couldn't be more wrong and really misses the point regarding her intellegence and abilities of critical thought. He seems to judge her on a political agenda rather than as a legal scholar. I wouldn't think one would get to the position of Dean of Harvard Law without some respected and recognized legal credentials. Apparently his standards are one of agreeing with his ideology. Kinda reminds me of both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union.

    July 2, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Nut-hatch

    Anyone notice during the hearing when hatch was up
    he looked like he was going to keel over
    and his train of thought kept derailing
    funny as hell.

    July 2, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  23. patriot

    Hatch saying no here. Imagine that.

    This is news?

    What is "appropriate judicial philosophy?" Would love to here a definitive explaination of what this is. Can any of the conservatives on this blog provide enlightenment?

    July 2, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. Hendrik

    Scared of the NRA, Hatch? But of course you are not in the pocket of these gun toting fools. Rank cowardice you midget.

    July 2, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  25. Anonymous

    I support Hatch on this. Kagan is simply not qualified to be a Supreme Court Justice. Then again, I would say no one on the planet really is.

    July 2, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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