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. RinMaine

    Once more he has dishonored himself and our country.

    May 10, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  2. Mark

    Republicans (the party of NO) wouldn't vote for God himself.

    May 10, 2010 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  3. Shelly

    Oh my.....what a shocker! Before he has heard her speak he has already made up his mind. The Party of No continues to show its lack of maturity and complete contempt of the process.

    May 10, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  4. Real American

    The knee-jerk reaction as expected from a right-wing extremist like Inhofe to focus on a non-issue like gays in the military. Can you think of anything that has less impact on the well being of the majority of American people? And if you want to find "Activist" judges, look no further than the present right-wing dominated Court, who ruled recently that Corporations are "people" too and are thus entitled to rights previously used to protect individuals. Let's hope that Kagan stands as a voice to fight back to protect the interests of the American people rather than the richest banks and corporations.

    May 10, 2010 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  5. williamhn

    This is the same James Inhofe that denies the existence of global warming. Before the first hearing or even courtesy meeting, he has made up his mind. And he is concerned about "her lack of impartiality when it comes to those who disagree with her position." Once again, he has shown himself to be the north end of a southbound mule.

    May 10, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  6. Jay Kaplan

    Oh, darn! With so many bigoted, self-righteous Republicans anxious to be the first to say no to Kagan's nomination, how come Inhofe, a buffoon of the first rank, gets to be the first?

    There will be others, of course, but shouldn't the public vote on which of them gets the notoriety for concocting the stupidest reason why a serious thinker and believer in human rights such as Kagan should be rejected?

    May 10, 2010 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  7. Voice of Reason

    Did Sen. Inhofe notice that Justice Rehnquist never served as a judge before being nominated to the SCOTUS? I'm sure he would have also been 'concerned' about his 'not being properly vetted', too...


    May 10, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  8. Anonymous

    This is the same guy that believes the earth is only 4000 yrs old and that unicorns are real!

    GOP Genius!!

    Just Liki a Republican not to understand US History or civics. There is a reason that the founding fathers did NOT require that judges be selected only from the judiciary!! They wanted a cross section of "The People" to be the ones interpreting the Constitution NOT just a bunch of [sic] lawyers!!

    May 10, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  9. Captain Crunch

    Just like a right-wing nut! Don't even wait for the hearings – make your prejudiced judgment right up front.

    That's why people, even some conservatives, find politicians from Oklahoma the most outrageous, narrow-minded, bigoted people in Congress!

    May 10, 2010 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  10. joel palmer

    inhofe is an idiot and no one cares what he thinks about anything

    May 10, 2010 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  11. emck

    So am I to assume that he would have taken the same position with the Rehnquist nomination. After all, he also had never been a judge.

    Or would it not have mattered since he was put forward by a Republican?

    May 10, 2010 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  12. one voice

    This clowns mind was made up even before any names were mentioned. If Kagan was a right-wing nut case, His vote would be a big YES.

    May 10, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  13. works for me

    The first of the many R (no) votes, I'm sure.
    They don't vote NO... they vote R... all of us know what that means by now!

    May 10, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  14. Shelly

    President Obama could nominate Mother Teresa and the Republicans would have found something wrong. It just kills them that a liberal black man is in the White House.

    May 10, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  15. carlos

    this okie has to be thrown out of the senate, he is a piece of animal excrement......and I am being nice

    May 10, 2010 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  16. Jim

    Imagine that the biggest fool in the Senate and he votes no to an Obama nomination, idea, comment, thought, etc. The G no P is nothing but a party of fools.

    May 10, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  17. ConstitutionalPatriot

    I will have to look into this further for myself. I share the same concerns as the senator regarding the Constitution, however I'm not taking his word on it. Last thing we need is another Constitution denier liberal though!

    May 10, 2010 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. Dave

    Who cares what this doddering old fool thinks?

    May 10, 2010 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  19. ATL Guy

    These Republicans are like a running bad joke.

    May 10, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  20. phoenix86

    It was one incompetent nominating another to the Supreme Court. Dems and their left fringe masters will push her through, but all sensible Senators should vote no.

    May 10, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  21. Mark Ferbet, KCMO

    Blah, blah, blah, blah.... The GOP opposition will be loud and full of hot air. There have been many Justices without Judicial experience, and the last Chief Justice was one. And the current only has two years of judicial experience.
    This is a brilliant choice. Conservatives need to be kept in check on the court, and she will be replacing the Liberal Leader of the Court, which is a smart, SMART move on the part of the President.
    The Democrats have the votes they need in the Senate, WITHOUT Republican support, and this nominee has many solid Conservatives that think highly of her.
    She will be the next Justice in the Supreme Court.

    May 10, 2010 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  22. john

    OUTSTANDING!!!! Defeat the looters nad the moochers!!

    May 10, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  23. Future expat

    Isn't this the same guy who got laughed out of the climate change conference in Europe last year for putting forward some bizarre conspiracy theories?

    Who cares what this insane dinosaur thinks.

    May 10, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  24. JonDie

    The Sooner State's two senators are THE biggest losers in the entire Senate.

    May 10, 2010 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. Gpenn

    A Republican saying no without even bothering with the formality of confirmation hearings. What are the chances of that?

    May 10, 2010 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
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