July 2nd, 2010
12:01 PM ET
13 years ago

Hatch to oppose Kagan nomination

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/02/art.hatch0724.gi.jpg caption="Sen. Orrin Hatch announced Friday that he will not support Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court."]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."

Hatch supported Kagan's nomination to her current post of solicitor general, but says that Kagan does not meet "the standard I have always used for judicial nominees."

Hatch also opposed the nomination of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, but before that, the veteran Republican voted for every high court nominee in his long Senate career, including President Clinton's two liberal choices, Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer.

Largely mirroring the most pointed lines of questioning that Kagan faced during her confirmation hearings, Hatch cites judicial activism and controversial decisions made by Kagan while she was Dean of Harvard Law School as areas of concern.

"Over nearly 25 years, General Kagan has endorsed, and praised those who endorse, an activist judicial philosophy. I was surprised when she encouraged us at the hearing simply to discard or ignore certain parts of her record. I am unable to do that," Hatch said before adding "As Dean of Harvard Law School, she blocked the access by military recruiters that federal law requires. And she took legal positions on important issues such as freedom of speech that could undermine the liberties of all Americans."

Hatch faces re-election in 2012, in a conservative state that saw its junior senator, Robert Bennett, defeated by more conservative candidates in this year's GOP primary process.

–CNN's Dana Bash and Bill Mears contributed to this report

Filed under: Elena Kagan • Orrin Hatch • Popular Posts • Supreme Court
soundoff (225 Responses)
  1. Dan sczepanski

    The more people like Hatch, Limbuger-baugh, Beck-****, Levin, Hannity, et.al. open their mouths, the more I am gald I left the Repuke-licans.

    July 2, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. BGJ

    I was willing to give Kagan the benefit of the doubt, but after reading the moronic rants by those who support her, I am convinced that she needs to be opposed by all legal means possible.

    July 2, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  3. SFRich

    No surprise here. He's always been a GOP hack with tunnel vision. I can recall him falling over himself to praise Robert Bork when he was nominated, and Clarence Thomas as well - demeaning Anita Hill during her testimony on Thomas' sexual advances on her in the workplace.

    No doubt the NRA

    July 2, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. JJ

    Wow, what a surprise.

    Of course, the NRA has a gun to his head as well as all the other republicans – and you know who the republican party REALLY works for.

    July 2, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Bill

    I don't believe it is wise for one (1) person (The President) to decide the one (1) nomination to the Supreme Court. The President should at least nominate two (2) then the Senate Vote and decide which one (1) will be evaluated. Also there should be strict requirements met, totally subjective, before anyone can be nominated.

    July 2, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  6. AverageJoe

    I love that Repubs don't want people to legislate from the bench, unless of course it's for something they want and then it is ok. Hatch will vote no. Big surprise? Maybe that's why Boner tans so much. He doesn't want to be as transparent as the others. Sorry, Johnny. It doesn't work.

    July 2, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  7. LiberalMe

    Hatch needs to get the hatchet. He has outlived his usefulness and is not in touch with the mainstream. Oh, does that sound like other members of his party?

    July 2, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  8. GI Joe

    Millions of voters out here in the real world oppose HATCH. He's so obvious in his prejudice and obstructionism. Can't stand him. He gets on my nerves. Be glad when ALL the old white male obstructionists are out of DC.

    Kagan will win.

    July 2, 2010 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  9. rich

    I am not suprised because they oppose everything President Obama does. If any one is concerned about activist judges they should be concerned about Roberts.

    July 2, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  10. Tom

    Radical liberalism is ruining this country. Obama hates America and his every policy he has pushes will help cause the collapse of our once great Nation. Your 401ks will be toast, social security will be toast and every other bit of security you thought you had will toast. You left wingers are clueless idiots!!!!!!!!

    July 2, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  11. slozomby

    kagan pre confirmation hearings "“The Bork hearings were the last hearings where a nominee was able to engage the Senators,” said David Yalof, a political science professor at the University of Connecticut. “But Bork lost. Candidates since have followed the anti-Bork blueprint. The Souter blueprint if you will: say as little as possible without the appearance of stonewalling and you will be successfully confirmed.”"

    kagan during confirmation hearings " case by case, rule of law, ...."

    July 2, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  12. rita

    She is exactly the type of judge we need. The military's discriminatory policies did not play well on her non-discriminatory campus. Hatch would throw every homosexual under a bus if he could. The Republican parties religiously fueled homophobia has a filthy record in support of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters on the front lines of our wars, past, present and future. This policy is due to be erased in the very near future. To treat her reaction to pro-discrimination by the military and Republican party as a litmus test is discrimination in and of itself. Hatch's ideology is pulling his wagon. America is moving forward with or without Mr. Hatch or his small minded constituents.

    July 2, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  13. RTB

    Hatch does not know what he is talking about.

    I am not surprised that someone like Hatch would oppose the nominee.

    If on the other hand, a right wing zealot with no judicial experience were nominated, good ol' boy Hatch would be all for it.

    Hatch and many of his silly Republican cronies are interested only in promoting the backward policies of their out dated party.

    July 2, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  14. Roscoe

    I thought Kagan supported plural marriage?

    July 2, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. Larry

    Orenthal Hatch (who was named in honor of Orenthal James Simpson as a tribute to that great American who got rid of an adulterer and a Jew) also suggested nominating Glen the Nazi Beck to the supreme court since he has zookeeper experience which is what Hack says will enhance the court's white agenda.

    July 2, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  16. Elaine Wilson

    Who is surprised? not me. Hatch must continue the republican strategy of saying no. He could care less who is appointed but since he is a republican he must say no.The republicans must continue their hate filled messages in hopes of trying to get back in power. The country doesn't really matter to him, just the powerrrr.

    July 2, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  17. Bob

    Smells like moonbat in here.

    "There is absolutely no doubt in my mind [the nominee] is qualified to sit on the highest court in the land. Moreover, [the nominee] seems to have the comportment and the temperament that makes for a good judge. [The nominee] is humble, personally decent, and appears to be respectful of different points of view. It is absolutely clear to me that [the nominee] truly loves the law."
    -Barack Obama ...He nonetheless voted AGAINST the nominee, John Roberts.
    Is Obama a political hack?

    July 2, 2010 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  18. joe

    If she was a bush or any other republican choice<old hatch would have been a yes yes.

    i still think the republican magic eight ball is still stuck on no.

    July 2, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  19. chill

    Orin has been watching the fate of his buddy Bob Bennett. This barely qualifies as news. Shame he didn't feel the same way about Alito and Roberts who have been pretty darn active in creating their own laws, usurping the role of Congress. Funny how activist judges are only bad if you disagree with their rulings.

    July 2, 2010 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  20. Insanity

    John Boehner is going to be caught
    in an aiport restroom tapping his foot.

    July 2, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  21. Dan

    To Frenchbuggler and the rest who post words of disgust on Hatch: Now is the time for action, not words. This is an example of outside interests and extreme wings of both parties demanding that the lawmakers tote their line at the expense of the american people. 1 million people with families are facing really hard times due to inaction by these fools. The time for words is done; These guys are doing real harm to real american people.

    It is time for moderate americans to take back our country. Americans who believe that compromise for the good of all Americans is the right thing. Americans who just can't sit around any longer and speak on these forums and get ignored or vote and get ignored.

    It's time to protest and protest vigorously the people who are making this country a country of extremes. Get in their face; confront and make them uncomfortable. It is time to stop this madness.

    July 2, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  22. Just Me

    Hatch had no intention of EVER voting for Kegan. He was in the NO column before the POTUS announced his Supreme Court pick. Who does he think he is fooling. People like Hatch cannot rise above their own politics or have any objectivity. They are stuck in a partisan war. And so, the party of No continues to say No. What a surprise.

    July 2, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  23. Sniffit

    Big whoop. She's getting confirmed, so he's taking a safe politicized partisan position that keeps him in good with his base. Move along...nothing to see here...

    July 2, 2010 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  24. nicnic

    Two words for you Orrin buddy...JOHN MARSHALL.

    July 2, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  25. unshrub

    Another republican who wants everyone in the US to think like he does. The term "appropriate judicial philosophy," means they want a judge who votes to only support big business and conservativism. He wants the courts to think exactly like he does.

    July 2, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
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