August 5th, 2010
01:42 PM ET
4 years ago

Brown to oppose Kagan for high court

Sen. Scott Brown will not vote in favor of confirmation for Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.
Sen. Scott Brown will not vote in favor of confirmation for Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

Washington (CNN) - Republican Scott Brown will not vote for Elena Kagan, the Massachusetts senator announced Thursday, saying she lacks both the judicial and courtroom experience required of a Supreme Court justice.

"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," Brown said in a statement. "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."

Kagan is expected to be confirmed Thursday as the 112th justice to the Supreme Court and could be sworn in to her judicial post by week's end.

Kagan has spent a substantial portion of her career in academia, a place that Brown views as lacking the real world gravitas of the nation's courtrooms.

"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," Brown said.

Five Republicans have so far signaled their intention to vote for Kagan, meaning the GOP doesn't have the strength in numbers in order to filibuster her nomination.

Only one Democrat, Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska, has announced his opposition.

A majority of Americans want the Senate to confirm Kagan to the Supreme Court, according to a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll released Tuesday. Fifty-four percent of people questioned say they would like to see senators vote in favor of Kagan's nomination, with 34 percent opposed.


Filed under: Elena Kagan • Popular Posts • Scott Brown • Supreme Court
soundoff (88 Responses)
  1. Bob in Pa

    She has no experience in being a Judge. A Judge needs to listen to both sides of an argument and apply them against existing law. Her only experience is in arguing one side of an argument. She is a bad selection and will not make a good judge.

    August 5, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  2. Average Guy in Red State KS

    Why is what this man thinks news??? C'mon CNN... find us some news with substance and get over this Republican "Ken Doll"...

    August 5, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  3. Full of Brown

    I guess he is not aware what the Solicitor General does.
    Sort of like Palin thinks a VP sits around and waits for McCain to bite the dust.

    August 5, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. dave_in_altmar

    Who actually cares what Senator Lightweight has to say about...anything?

    August 5, 2010 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  5. S.D.

    Why does Ben Nelson even consider himself a Democrat?????

    August 5, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  6. Jerod

    she's a political hack that's why she was nominated. the imperial presidency and imperial congress wanted a liberal judge for the imperial supreme court. simple as that.

    August 5, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  7. Lin Cla

    What else would a republican say. This is not a surprise

    August 5, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. BertoB

    Mr. Brown says he "believes nominees to the Supreme Court should have previously served on the bench," Well, I don't think Senator should not have been a "centerfold boy"....
    Apparently you didn't need any practical experiences for your job.
    Kagan knows more about not only the law, its spirit and intent and can contribute more to the courts than you will ever deliver to your constituents. Stop talking out of your ass....remove the RNC from your colon and shut it.

    August 5, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Robert Cloosdoosch

    41 of 109 Supreme Court Justices have not had judicial experience.

    August 5, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. timz

    Would this be the same kind of "gravitas" one acquires by posing nude for Cosmo?

    August 5, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  11. Tim - Wilmington, DE

    Who cares. Snowe, Collins, Gregg, Graham and Lugar have confirmed they're voting "yes", so Kagan's in. Mr. January's vote is of zero significance. Although it'll be fun watching him squirm in front of his liberal constituents when his re-election arrives in two years.

    August 5, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. SLM

    Smart man with common sense....I like him, he has what our so called Campaigner in chief lacks.......common sense.

    August 5, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Laura, Massachusetts

    I agree with Scott Brown. Look what putting in a non-experienced President has gotten us into...

    When your job is for life, you want to make sure you know the law inside and out and experience (formerly a bad thing) is now a good thing to have for any position where the people of the U.S. are concerned.

    August 5, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  14. Ray SF

    FINALLY the man has come to his senses!!

    August 5, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  15. kate

    "Fifty-four percent of people... in favor of Kagan's nomination." And, that view would be based on what? Ms. Kagan has refused to answer questions that she said require answers by Supreme Court nominees. Without Ms. Kagen actually answering any questions during the nomination process, only a corrupt and/or incompetent Senator would vote in favor of her nomination. There is way too much corruption in Congress – Quid Pro Quo: Congressmen selling votes or trading votes.

    August 5, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Clint, Wa.

    Get back in your pickem up truck and go back to redneck land.

    August 5, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Sniffit

    "Not much of a stretch for a gay judge for overrule prop 8. The people voted for it twice and won and an activist judge overturms. Whats surprising?"

    What's suprising? What's suprising is that anyone who claims to be concerned about the sanctity of the Constitution and comes here day after day to parrot Glush Limbeck's talking points about the "liberals ripping up the Constitution"...or some such nonsense...would come here to argue that majority rules when it comes to whether unpopular minorities are allowed to enjoy equal treatment under the laws of our nation. Clearly, you understand nothing about the Constitution OR you're just a self-serving shmuck who just wants to have his cake and eat it too. Choose.

    August 5, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  18. hobart

    Gee Scott, apparently you are unaware of our own American history, and the long list of Supreme Court justices who had no prior bench or courtroom experience. Couldn't you come up with something original or honest?

    August 5, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. n8r

    Too bad we don't have more Scott Browns in Congress.

    August 5, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  20. Frank

    Ya, but look who our President is: a community organizer!!! Of course he is not doing his job right either and is trying to learn on the job (poor Hillary kept telling us this and many didn't listen), so I guess Kagan can learn on the job too. Of course who knows how much damage she will cause while learning to get it right!! This country of ours is truly doomed!

    August 5, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  21. Southern Belle - North Carolina

    Senator Brown. I am disappointed in you. I thought you were a rare Republican who would be honest, caring and put the country ahead of Party. Guess you are just another far-right Republican wing-nut. How sad!

    August 5, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  22. Wil in the VA.

    You are doing a heck of a job Brownee now go out and raise money for the party during the recess. Voting yes would have questioned your loyalty to the party of NO.

    August 5, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. rdepontb

    So, Senator Scott Brown, you do not think that a regular, educated and aware American Citizen could have the smarts/judgment/tolerance to serve on our Supreme Court, never mind someone schooled and read and revered in the topic areas so critical to sitting on that Court.

    That's your very humble opinion; we just thought you had more depth and appreciation of "the rest of us."

    August 5, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  24. Andrew -New York City

    Scott Brown is just towing the party line. He does not yet have the distinction within his party, a.k.a Lindsay Graham, to exercise any kind of independence.

    August 5, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  25. JayfromBoston

    People who live in glass houses, Scott ... be careful what you preach. You are a disgrace to all of us in Massachusetts.

    August 5, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
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