May 10th, 2010
06:54 PM ET
12 years ago

Inhofe comes out against Kagan

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, said Monday he would vote against Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court."]Washington (CNN) – Sen. James Inhofe, R-Oklahoma, said Monday he would vote against Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court, the first Republican to publicly express opposition to President Obama's choice to replace Justice John Paul Stevens.

Inhofe voted against Kagan when her nomination to be solicitor general came before the Senate last year. Despite opposition from Inhofe and some other GOP senators, Kagan was confirmed.

"As with her nomination to serve as Solicitor General, I remain concerned about Elena Kagan's record," Inhofe said in a statement shortly after Obama announced her as his second pick for the high court. "Now as a nominee to the Supreme Court, her lack of judicial experience and her interpretation of the Constitution also play an important role in my decision to once again oppose her nomination. The position for which she has been nominated has lifetime tenure, and it is concerning that the President has placed such trust in a nominee that has not been properly vetted through a judicial career, having worked mostly in academia and never before as a judge."

Echoing what has already become a Republican concern about Kagan, Inhofe also mentioned Kagan's decision, while dean of Harvard Law School, to block military recruiters from the law school's campus in protest of the Pentagon's policies preventing gays and lesbians from serving openly.

The issue is "very important to me," Inhofe said.

He added, "I am also concerned about the seeming contempt she has demonstrated in her comments about the Senate confirmation process as well as her lack of impartiality when it comes to those who disagree with her position."

While Senate Republicans have criticized aspects of Kagan's record, most – particularly those sitting on the Senate Judiciary Committee – have stressed that they intend to give her nomination even-handed consideration.

If confirmed, Kagan would be the fourth female justice in the high court's history and would share the Court's bench with Justices Ruth Bader-Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor.

Kagan currently serves as solicitor general, the top lawyer charged with representing the federal government before the Supreme Court.

- CNN Radio's Lisa Desjardins contributed to this report.

Filed under: Elena Kagan • Extra • Popular Posts • Supreme Court
soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Cynthia

    And that is news, how? What else would an idiot like Imhofe say?

    May 10, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  2. Dale Greenburg

    Yes, by all means, decide a vote before there are even hearings. How typical. Wouldn't it be far less time consuming and frustrating if we just replaced all Republican senators with a broken record that simply repeats ""

    May 10, 2010 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  3. ThinkAgain

    And out comes the GOP, marching in perfect lockstep.

    Their only concern is to try to turn public opinion against Kagan, and put pressure on other Republicans to vote against her. Regardless of the fact that there have been plenty of other Supreme Court Justices that did not have prior experience as a judge, they are writing her off before the confirmation hearings have even begun.

    GOP = Party Before Country

    May 10, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  4. Dan

    In the president is as tech-savvy as he is justice savvy, only days will tell whether it is a campaign image or reality, and his judgement on judges are as suspicious as his tech know how (that he himself admits not to have!). We all need to check for ourselves before giving a "carte blanche" to this image we led to believe is our president! So, this senator is expressing his judgement on the judgement!

    May 10, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. Russ

    Just another bigoted angry old white man Republican. Party of no. Especially if your black or a woman. Every House and Senate member over the age of 60 needs to be voted out.

    May 10, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  6. Texas Granny

    Am I surprised?? Uhh no. He's a Republican, She's not. If you're not a far right card carrying Republican, you don't even get the time of day from the GOP. That's kind of how the Republicans have acted ever since the election.

    May 10, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  7. Will

    Just look at his photo....was there any doubt he wasn't going to support a woman on the Supreme Court?

    May 10, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. spehnec

    If Inhofe is against her, she ought to be A-OK for America.

    May 10, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  9. Dennis

    Can anyone from west of New York be a Supreme Court nominee? How some real diversity on the court and get someone who is not Ivy League.

    May 10, 2010 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  10. AIB

    What about a senator who does not understand his constitutional duties?

    May 10, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  11. ib

    She should get a lot more no's from what I'm reading about her. Sounds like another far left pick by Mr. far left Obama.

    May 10, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  12. jay

    There have been Justices who were not lawyers on the supreme Court. Being a lawyer does not guarentee being a good or great Justice. This is a smoke screen by this Republican.

    May 10, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  13. BlueDem1

    Oh, BIG DEAL.....can anybody name one time when this right-wing fanatic from Oklahoma supported President Obama on anything?

    May 10, 2010 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  14. tim

    At least he gave her a fair shot. He would vote against his grandmother if she had been appointed by Obama.

    Fortunately, she has a great shot at being confirmed unless some "Nanny" items come out in the wash. I think it is great she has no judicial experience. The greatest Supreme of all times experience was Governor of California and had zero judicial experience.

    tim in san jose

    May 10, 2010 07:39 pm at 7:39 pm |
  15. PaulC

    Anyone who doesn't expect 100% opposition from the Republicans hasn't been paying attention. To support, or even appear to support, anything proposed by Obama is kryptonite.

    May 10, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  16. Steve in Sherman Oaks

    If Inhofe is voting against Kagan, then she HAS to be a great choice. Inhofe would vote against anyone – Thurgood Marshall, Bill Brennan, etc. – who is a liberal. Who cares, he says, that they are brilliant, hard working, and have advanced legal thinking. Kagan should wear his opposition as a badge of honor.

    May 10, 2010 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  17. Wisdom?

    Sen. James Inhofe seems to lack wisdom. Where in the constitution does it say that a nominee to the Supreme Court must be a sitting judge? Are judges the only ones who have wisdom? Let’s see she is qualified to be the Dean of Harvard Law School and to represent the U.S. Government as Solicitor General but not to judge cases. It seems to me that all this posturing is nothing more than obstructionism. King Solomon, allegedly the wisest person to have lived was not a judge.

    May 10, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  18. Gil

    We are all getting use to the republican (Party Of NO, NO, NO! only being taught one work to parrot. Disgusting all of them!

    May 10, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  19. bk

    Inhofe just couldn't get his "no" out fast enought!

    May 10, 2010 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. Kevin

    I swear I knew this had to be one of our fruitcake Senators from Oklahoma before it was even revealed who it was. They are a constant source of embarrassment and I'm really rather sick of them.

    May 10, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    The Party of No Courage, No Morals, No Sense and No Integrety marches on!!

    I vote no before I know anything!!

    May 10, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  22. Tom

    Inhofe says he is concerned about "her lack of impartiality when it comes to those who disagree with her position." A senator, either Democrat or Republican, giving "lack of impartiality" as a reason not to vote for a nominee is laughable.

    Also, John Roberts had only two years experience as a judge, and he was voted straight to Cheif Justice. I highly doubt that judicial experience is the real reason for the "no" vote.

    May 10, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  23. David E. Newton

    Doesn't take much time for the Party of No to respond to the nomination, does it?

    May 10, 2010 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  24. Joel

    I'm truly concerned about Inhofe's comments and he, unfortunately, is one of my senators. I wish he wasn't, but my vote is only one vote.

    May 10, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  25. Sean

    Inhofe needs to learn his history. A significant percentage of past Supreme Court Justices have had no previous judicial experience. Why is it suddenly a big issue with Kagan? Could Inhofe be being disingenuous?

    May 10, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
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