August 03, 2010

Crapo To Vote Against Kagan

Cites record of political advocacy, fears over judicial activism

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo announced today that he will not vote in favor of confirming Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision comes on the heels of a review conducted by Crapo of the recently completed confirmation hearings by the Senate Judiciary Committee as well as additional materials and comments from thousands of Idahoans on the matter.

"Ms. Kagan has an impressive educational background, but serving as a Supreme Court Justice goes way beyond education," Crapo said. "That is why I take this responsibility seriously. To date, more than 1,500 Idahoans have contacted my office to express their opposition to Ms. Kagan's nomination. And their concerns mirror my own.

"I had hoped that the committee hearings as well as my personal meeting with Ms. Kagan would have resolved those concerns. However, the confirmation process left much to be desired; nominees are no longer comfortable candidly discussing their judicial philosophy and views on key issues. We are, therefore, left to evaluate her career largely on her role as a policy advocate and political advisor and whether she would carry this political advocacy into her service on the U.S. Supreme Court.

"My concerns begin with how her previous statements suggest a willingness to bring that activism to the bench, and an openness to setting aside the limits the Constitutions sets on each branch of government, in order to reach certain policy outcomes. Her writings and testimony suggest that she sees the Supreme Court as a body that must 'lead the nation' and have the freedom to change the law in response to 'new conditions and new circumstances.' During her tenure as dean of Harvard Law School, she used her position to lead the school in a direction that was based on her personal policy preferences when she denied military recruiters equal access to students, complying with the law only when forced to by the court.

"Those of us who believe in the individual right of law-abiding citizens to keep and bear arms under the 2nd Amendment did not find comfort in Ms. Kagan's positions as discussed in the Judiciary Committee hearing and other writings. While she served on the staff of President Clinton in the 1990s, she worked to impose firearms restrictions through an executive order after the Supreme Court had already ruled the matter unconstitutional. As Solicitor General, the position she currently holds in the Obama Administration, she declined to file a brief in the McDonald case in support of the 2nd Amendment-a milestone case that directly affirmed that the 2nd Amendment is applicable to the states and only recently decided by the Supreme Court.

"As a U.S. Senator, I take very seriously the responsibility of confirming Supreme Court judges, and have taken every opportunity to learn more about Ms. Kagan. This was a decision that took much time, review and study; it was one I did not reach lightly. The oath taken by federal judges says in part, that they promise or swear to do justice for all. As I see it, that correctly describes the fundamental and proper role for a judge. Given the review I have made of Ms. Kagan and her record, I question whether she would or could abide by that standard and must vote against her nomination to sit on the highest court in our country."