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. Raymond H. Burgoon-Clark

    Good enough reason to vote FOR her confirmation!

    May 10, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  2. lucy

    Gee, another NO vote from a Republican. Now there's a surprise...

    May 10, 2010 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  3. Andy

    I wonder how critical the Constitution has been to him throughout his voting history?

    May 10, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  4. MCD

    Surprise! Surprise! No matter who President Obama picked... the reupulicans are not going to approve.... the only way they would be happy is if the Pres. let them hand pick a person.

    May 10, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  5. Waddell

    AAAHHHH. The party of "NO" rides again. Why don't they have some sense of shame and guilt - give back most of their salaries. It is obvious they do not earn their living but are living off the fat of the land.

    May 10, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Ken in NC

    ht Senator Inhof means is that Kagan does not see the constitution the way he wants her to see it and since he is a Republican, it is his way or "NO" way.

    May 10, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Moogie

    If Obama nominated James Inhofe, James Inhofe would vote against him just to be against Obama. This is going to be an easy confirmation and if it ends up running party lines, it's just going to hurt Republicans. Her record speaks for the fact that she is not an "activist" nomination and will work with both sides.

    May 10, 2010 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  8. darko

    As predicted, he picked the most liberal activist that he could find.

    The best way to hide a liberal judge's past? Nominate a non-judge!

    May 10, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  9. Save America, impeach the treasonous republicans

    Why would we expect this low life slime to do anything different. Time for him to go back to his beloved C Street.

    May 10, 2010 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  10. Andy from New york

    Ok, Ok I will say it and only once. The Repubs have never forgotten the way their cherished child Robert Bork was treated when he was nominated in 1987 by Ronald Reagan. And the only reason Sonia Sotomayor got through relatively unscathed in 2009 was because the vote was fillibuster proof. Scott Brown's election has since changed the numbers however. The only saving grace for Elena Kagan is the lack of a paper trail and with it, service on the bench. Otherwise she has as much of a legal mind as Bork had and therefore subject to the same twisted scrutiny.

    May 10, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  11. robert


    May 10, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  12. not surprised

    when he was elected, his platform was 'no'

    May 10, 2010 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  13. Livin' the good life

    What he is really saying..."I will not even consider this lady due to standing up for my parties stance of NO, and I dare not deviate from my humble Limbaughs...PULL MY STRING..." MAN!, if you can't even wait for at least 24 hrs before stating your opinion, what the he11 you doin' in your position!?...Beau Colby.

    May 10, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  14. Chas

    What a bafoon! Close the door before it's even open. Give this Republican a one-way ticket out of Washington with a no-return clause.

    May 10, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  15. Livin' the good life

    PS: Obama is WORKING for the American people and I feel he has givin us Hope, Change and now, a CHANCE!...Beau Colby

    May 10, 2010 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  16. Sonnie2

    Well if President Obama had pick Holy Mary mother of God for the
    Supreme Court of the United State,There are people who are going to object.The ink did not dry on the report before Senator Inhofe started to put her down.It sounds like he had a personal dislike for her.
    Or maybe he just dont like the president .Inhoe might have wait a
    a day or so and hear a little public opinion before bambashing
    Elena Kagan.We know this is all politics but give us a break from some of this negitivity that we constantly hearing from out of Washington. Good luck to Elena Kagan she is going to need it.

    May 10, 2010 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  17. joe

    This guy should go back to the jarsic age where he belongs. He probaly still beleives that women should stay in the kitchen and be barefoot and pregent.

    May 10, 2010 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  18. Hendrik

    Oh, come on Inhofe. SHUT UP until you have something intelligent to say. I know that Republicans are notoriously unintilligent and all driven by emotion but you, senator, are the dangerous one because you are driven by manipulation of your stupid base.

    May 10, 2010 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  19. gary

    And I thought that maybe Republicans would just be civil and at least let her defend and explain herself during the hearings. Of course she'll get confirmed unless there's something very dramatic that has been hidden. But, Republicans are going to make this very painful for everyone and very partisan.

    May 10, 2010 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  20. Just say NO

    We do not need another anti military, anti constitution, rabid liberal in place.Hope everyone votes no.

    May 10, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  21. Jim Bonacum

    Senator Inhofe is also well known for being in bed with the oil companies that are his major campaign donors as well as his outspoken and nonsensical opposition to doing anything about the climate crisis. Obviously holding onto his senate seat takes precedence over doing anything to help the citizens of the country or the world. This guy is a blowhard and the fact that he is opposed to Kagan is all the more reason to support her.

    May 10, 2010 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  22. Brian from Washington

    Oh please. Under what set of circumstances would anRepublican ever endorse an Obama Supreme Cout candidate? It's all so predictable.

    May 10, 2010 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  23. Bob Lees

    WOW!!! What a shocker, such a notable nobody. The amazing thing would be if Inhofe ever did something original. If Mitch McConnell ever stopped short James Inhofes head would disappear into a certain orifice.

    May 10, 2010 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  24. smitty

    As an Oklahoman, I sincerely apologize to the nation that we continue to give this guy a place in the U.S. Senate. He's an embarrassment.

    May 10, 2010 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  25. Klaxon McFlinderginder

    There is so much purely reactive hate on the right that if Obama were to nominate Dick Cheney for the Supreme Court, the Republicans would still come out against him and filibuster. And lose.

    There is absolutely no way to satisfy the right wing radical fundamentalist extremists. Heck, they even are attacking each other for not being pure enough.

    May 10, 2010 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
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