Washington (CNN) – Pointing to Solicitor General Elena Kagan's support for televising Supreme Court arguments and her affinity for the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, Sen. Arlen Specter says that Kagan has done 'just enough' to win his support for her high court nomination.
In a largely critical editorial in USA Today, Specter took issue with much of the way Kagan handled herself during her recent confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, a panel on which Specter sits.
"Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan did little to undo the impression that nominating hearings are little more than a charade in which cautious non-answers take the place of substantive exchanges," Specter writes in the op-ed.
The Republican-turned-Democrat criticizes Kagan for failing to provide any real insights to her judicial philosophy in general and her specific views on a number of legal issues, many of which have to do with the basis and extent of congressional authority.
Washington (CNN) – Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, announced Wednesday he will not support Elena Kagan's nomination for the Supreme Court.
"Solicitor General Kagan's testimony before the Judiciary Committee did not assure me that she agrees with the traditional understanding of the proper role of a judge," Cornyn said in a statement. "Judges should strictly interpret the written Constitution, which means both enforcing written limitations on the scope of government power, such as the Second Amendment and the Commerce Clause, as well as not inventing new rights or imposing their own policy views on the American people."
Cornyn is the second Republican member of the Senate Judiciary Committee to oppose Kagan's nomination. He joins Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch who announced his opposition earlier this month.
Cornyn said Kagan's explanations of her judicial philosophy were "vague and open to multiple interpretations" and that she was "unable to articulate limits on the federal Commerce Clause power."
Washington (CNN) - The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday delayed its vote on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan for a week at the request of the panel's ranking Republican.
Such a delay is permitted under committee rules. The panel had a similar delay last year when considering the Supreme Court nomination of Sonia Sotomayor.
Committee Chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, said he hoped to hold the vote on Kagan in a week's time, on July 20.
The Judiciary Committee held four days of hearings on Kagan's nomination before Congress went on its Fourth of July recess.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Monday that he expects Republicans to delay for a week the panel's confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.
The Judiciary Committee, which held four days of hearings on Kagan's nomination before Congress went on its Fourth of July recess, is scheduled to vote on Tuesday.
"It's just the normal way of doing business," Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina said when asked why his party would delay the vote, which is permitted by committee rules.
Graham said he wants the extra time to review Kagan's response to written questions he submitted to her.
Washington (CNN) - Two more Republican senators have announced they will oppose Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski both issued statements Friday afternoon indicating their opposition to Kagan's nomination. The announcements come hours after Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch indicated he would oppose Kagan's nomination.
McConnell said Kagan was "far from forthcoming in discussing her own views on basic principles of American constitutional law" during this week's confirmation hearings.
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."
Washington (CNN) - Former military members on Thursday slammed Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan over her handling of military recruiters on the Harvard campus when she was dean of the university's law school.
On the final day of the Senate Judiciary Committee's confirmation hearing for Kagan, a total of 24 witnesses were scheduled to testify for and against President Barack Obama's pick to replace the retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.
The 50-year old Kagan has come under criticism from Republican senators, who complained that she actively tried to block military recruiters from Harvard Law School when she was dean because of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning openly gay and lesbian service members.
"Dean Kagan's clearly unlawful actions estranged the campus," said former U.S. Army Capt. Flagg Youngblood. He called Kagan's actions "double dealing" and a "condescension to the American rule of law that harmed the interests of the military." Youngblood attended Yale University as an ROTC member, and is now director of military outreach for the conservative Young America's Foundation.
Capt. Pete Hegseth of the Army National Guard said Kagan "encouraged students to oppose and protest the presence of military recruiters on campus."
Kagan and the White House have strongly defended her actions, saying that while she opposed the military's policy, Kagan never kept recruiters off the university.
Kagan also supported other schools challenging a federal law - known as the Solomon Amendment - requiring that recruiters be given equal access or face the loss of federal funding. The Supreme Court unanimously upheld the law on March 6, 2006.
Washington (CNN) - Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan received a mixed reaction Thursday from groups on opposite ends of the gun control debate.
The National Rifle Association announced it will oppose President Barack Obama's choice to sit on the high court, while the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence announced its support for Kagan's nomination.
The NRA, a powerful lobby group, warned senators of severe political consequences if they end up supporting the nominee.
A statement by top NRA officials said Kagan has "repeatedly demonstrated a clear hostility" to gun rights while working in Democratic administrations and academia.
Kagan's candid but cautious approach in three days of hearings looks like it came out of the playbook John Roberts used when he went before senators in 2005. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
Washington (CNN) - If confirmed to the Supreme Court as expected, Elena Kagan would work with and independently of Chief Justice John Roberts. That's the nature of the court's internal dynamics, and the concept of the one justice-one vote system in which the chief justice is often called "first among equals."
Roberts' five-year leadership of the nine-member court has frequently been as much a part of Kagan's Senate confirmation hearing this week as the nominee herself. Despite their clear ideological differences, it has been striking how much these two clearly bright legal minds share.
Kagan's candid but cautious approach in three days of hearings looks like it came out of the playbook Roberts used when he went before senators in 2005. She concluded her testimony Wednesday relatively unscathed, clearing the path for a likely confirmation in coming weeks.
Washington (CNN) - The Senate Judiciary Committee completed its public questioning of Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan on Wednesday afternoon.
The panel now will hold a private session with Kagan on classified information, and then hear from witnesses for and against her nomination on Thursday.