Myths and facts about Elena Kagan
Of course, the mud-slinging from the far right (although not all conservatives, as we see below) has begun even before President Obama formally nominates Solicitor General Elena Kagan to a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Here’s a SUMMARY of the allegations and the arguments against them.
CLAIM: Kagan is a “radical” who is “outside the mainstream.” Conservatives have indicated they will brand any Obama Supreme Court nominee — including Kagan — as a radical. For example, conservative activist Richard Viguerie has reportedly said, “The more quickly we can identify [the nominee] as an ideological liberal, the easier it is for us to communicate to the American people how radical the president is and the nominee is.” Similarly, Glenn Beck has said that President Obama is going to pick a “radical” nominee. In a March 19, 2009, Family Research Council Action press release, Tony Perkins claimed that Kagan “is well outside the mainstream of public opinion and to the left even of President Obama.”
FACT: Kagan is considered to be relatively moderate. Reuters noted on May 7 that Kagan is “considered one of the more moderate choices on Obama’s short list of potential court nominees.”
FACT: Numerous conservatives have praised Kagan.
- NRO’s Daniel Foster praised Kagan as being “well-respected by just about everybody on both sides.” In an April 9 post on The Corner, National Review Onlinenews editor Daniel Foster wrote that Kagan “is well-respected by just about everybody on both sides.”
- Bush assistant AG: “Kagan combines principle, pragmatism, and good judgment better than anyone I have ever met.” In a letter supporting Kagan’s nomination for solicitor general, Jack Goldsmith — former assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel during the Bush administration — stated: “It might seem over the top to say that Kagan combines principle, pragmatism, and good judgment better than anyone I have ever met. But it is true.”
- Starr, Olson and bipartisan group of former solicitors general: Kagan held in “high regard” by “persons of a wide variety of political and social views.” In a letter sent by people who “serv[ed] as Solicitor General over the past quarter century, from 1985 to 2009,” Charles Fried, Kenneth Starr, Drew Days, Walter Dellinger, Seth Waxman, Theodore Olson, Paul Clement, and Gregory Garre stated: