May 10th, 2010
10:16 AM ET
13 years ago

McConnell: Senate Republicans will treat Kagan fairly


 Sen. Mitch McConnell, seen here in a file photo, said Monday that Republicans will treat Elena Kagan fairly. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

Washington (CNN) - Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky issued the following statement upon President Obama announcing his selection of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to join the Supreme Court:

“I congratulate Elena Kagan on her nomination. As we did with Justice Sotomayor last year, Senate Republicans will treat Ms. Kagan fairly. She has been nominated for a lifetime appointment on the nation’s highest court, and we will carefully review her brief litigation experience, as well as her judgment and her career in academia, both as a professor and as an administrator. Fulfilling our duty to advise and consent on a nomination to this office requires a thorough process, not a rush to judgment.

“The American people expect judges to apply the Constitution and laws of the United States fairly and impartially—as they are written, not how they could have been written but were not. Even though the President who nominates them has personal policy preferences, judges must not be a rubberstamp for any administration. Judges must not walk into court with a preconceived idea of who should win. Their job is to apply the law ‘without respect to persons,’ as the judicial oath states; it is not to pick winners or losers.

“Senate Republicans will have a vigorous debate on the importance of this principle. And we will diligently review the record of Ms. Kagan to ensure that she shares this principle and that she possesses the requisite experience to serve on the Supreme Court.”

Filed under: Elena Kagan • GOP • Mitch McConnell • Popular Posts • Senate
soundoff (72 Responses)
  1. Hussein

    She resembles Kevin James, the "King of Queens" and "Mall Cop" actor.

    May 10, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  2. BLL

    Didn't she kick ROTC out of Harvard campus when she was in charge? How can she explain such unpatriotic action ?

    May 10, 2010 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  3. Dave Harris

    Does anyone expect Republicans to do anything but try to torpedo her? There are no "principles" involved, they just have to demonstrate to their increasingly irrational supporters that they hate Obama as much as they do. He could even nominate a fascist in their own likeness, like Bork, and they'd find some excuse to be opposed.

    May 10, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  4. Terry

    The Republicans will not attack a woman in an election year, even if she is a liberal minded woman. Now, will they spend millions hiring private investigators to talk with her kindergarden teacher, her first prom date, and everyone who lived next door to her, yes? Women are now seeing one benefit of electing President Obama, the Supreme Court. The Republicans have wanted to reverse Roe vs Wade for decades, but Obama will change the look of the court over the next six years, and women will receive the greatest support and rewards from the new justices he appoints.

    May 10, 2010 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  5. Carl

    As, yes, the standard mythology that judges simply follow the law and the Constitution. Any real student of the Supreme Court would know that those Justices are the final authority on what the Constitution means, and they are expected to make decisions based on their understanding of the original document and on the circumstances and conditions of the times. Were that not the case, they would be unable to render decisions on anyhting involving technology or social issues that did not exsit when the Constitution was written and were far beyond the ability of 18th century statemen to even conceive, let alone include. The Supreme Court is the branch of government that insures we have the ability to evolve, while retaining our fundamental principles.

    May 10, 2010 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  6. vp

    “The American people expect judges to apply the Constitution and laws of the United States fairly and impartially—as they are written, not how they could have been written but were not."

    It is a shame that the recent appointees, Roberts and Alito, do NOT believe that. They said they would in their hearings, but disregarded it after they were confirmed.

    They will call 'em as they see 'em...

    May 10, 2010 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. tradewinds

    We shall soon find out if this statement is true. What is the republican meaning of the word "fairly"?

    May 10, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  8. Deborah/Kansas City

    Oh, really, to bad you do not apply the same standard when it is a Republican President, Mitch. The Bushs' appointments are the most conservative radical and activist judges in the court, in my lifetime. Consider the loss of our civil rights in the Patriot Act and now considering Corporations as individuals, and money as speech. Can't get more radical and activist than that. Tell me again about making fair decsions according to the constitution and not pushing an ideological or political view? Like appointing a President despite election fraud?

    May 10, 2010 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    To treat someone fairly doesn't man to attack them as they did Sotomayor. McConnell and the rest of the GOP need to cleanup their act.

    May 10, 2010 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  10. DavidErdmann

    That is all we need another Ivy League east coast person in a position of influence. Very disappointing to nominate a non-judge to a lifetime appointment as a Supreme Court judge. It is obvious that when Obama was elected we needed a journeyman in the White House but instead got a far left apprentice.

    May 10, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Brian

    McConnell's words are ironic and interesting. There has not been, since prior to WW1, a Republican President who has nominated a Justice who could be considered even a moderate. The closest was Gerald Ford, who nominated Stevens. While Stevens is currently viewed as a liberal voice in the court, at the time of his appointment, he was considered a centrist Conservative, and is a life long Republican. Only in the light of the very conservative Rehnquist court ( and virtually as conservative Roberts court) did Stevens appear liberal. Neither of the Bush, nor Reagan made any attempts to hide their purposeful skewing of the court's philosophy. So it is interesting that it is the Republican Leadership that now admonishes the public that a President ought not try to impact the philosophy of the SCOTUS.

    May 10, 2010 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  12. Kevin B.

    Lets see what type of made up, double talk Mr Mitch "tudor turtle" McConnell and the rest of the do nothing republicans senators have to say about Ms Kagan.

    Obviously they will will have to bow to the Rush ditto head crowd and the extreme tea party fringe-nuts to keep from going the way of the Do-Do did Mr Bennett of Utah.

    May 10, 2010 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  13. Phil

    No need to be gentle. Lets get all the facts since we know the most radical President in history has nominated her. Surely they think alike.

    May 10, 2010 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  14. Joseph B

    How the Republicans treated Sotomayor was fairly? Luckily the people did not fall for it.

    May 10, 2010 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Jim in Idaho

    Sure....that's why we ended up with Thomas, Roberts and Alito under two Bush administrations. I'm sure they're not simply conservative rubberstamps supporting a conservative agenda and voting the way that Republicans want them to vote.

    I'm sure they voted the strict constitution in recently giving corporations more rights than private citizens in making political campaign donations.

    Let's see, how many times is the word "corporation" or "company" found in the constitution? Oh yeah--zero times. "Apply the constitution...and laws of the United they were written......and not as they could have been written" What a conservative joke that is McConnell.

    May 10, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  16. Truman

    No thinly-veiled partisan rhetoric here. Keep looking...

    May 10, 2010 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  17. Dale

    Fair and impartial, just like Fox news is Fair and balanced. I guess if they keep saying maybe someone will believe it.

    May 10, 2010 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  18. Ellie

    Sure they will. What a bunch of liars. They all speak with a forked tongue.

    May 10, 2010 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  19. Bonnie

    Now the Republicans will PICK, PICK, PICK until they wear us all out. Why don't they just examine the woman's work, and get on with their business.

    May 10, 2010 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  20. Livin' the good life

    WOW! How long have they been working on that!? I guess all they had to do was insert a name and they were ready for a response. It sounds too good to be true! We will have to let the debates show us American people if the Republicans are WILLING to come back to work, or, if this is ANOTHER smoke and screen effort to run the President away from his agendas...Beau Colby (It's very hard to tell but, hopefully there is no plagiarism in it due to it sounding so "crisp and clean". Something they are NOt known for at this time.)

    May 10, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  21. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    These people don't know the meaning of "fair".

    May 10, 2010 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  22. Iowa liberal

    Why do the Republican's have to announce that they will treat this nominee fairly? That's their job. Maybe I should announce that I'm going to calculate payroll for my employer "fairly" today.

    May 10, 2010 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
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