From the May 10 edition of CNN's American Morning
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From Fox News March 10 breaking news Supreme Court coverage:
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Media Matters for America has compiled and debunked myths and falsehoods about Solicitor General Elena Kagan's Supreme Court nomination.
From Fox News' March 9 breaking news Supreme Court coverage:
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On Friday night, Washington Post media writer Howard Kurtz wrote on Twitter: "Elena Kagan was a paid adviser to Goldman Sachs? What could be worse--being on the offshore risk committee for BP?" Kurtz's tweet is ridiculous: The Justice Department has said that Kagan advised Goldman Sachs just "once a year" and was not involved in any investment decisions.
USA Today reported last month that Kagan served on a Goldman Sachs "panel from 2005 through 2008, when she was dean of Harvard Law School, and received a $10,000 stipend for her service in 2008, her disclosure forms show." USA Today added that the group "met once a year to discuss public policy issues and was not involved in any investment decisions, Justice Department spokesman Tracy Schmaler said." The Wall Street Journal similarly quoted the Justice Department stating that the "group wasn't involved in making any investment decisions for the company."
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs also said that the panel "had absolutely nothing to do with the decisions that Goldman has made that they're now being investigated for."
How weak is the evidence tying Kagan's "once a year" Goldman advisory role to the company's alleged wrongdoings? Even discredited National Review Online writer Ed Whelan finds the suggestion "ludicrous":
It would strike me as ludicrous for anyone to suggest that Kagan's advisory role on the Goldman Sachs GMI panel had any causal connection to whatever wrongdoings Goldman Sachs is alleged to have committed. At the same time, her ties to Goldman Sachs would make even more farfetched any effort by the White House to depict Kagan as some sort of populist candidate who has a keen understanding of the challenges that ordinary Americans face in their everyday lives.
From the May 7 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
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We just pointed out in response to Ed Whelan's comments about Elena Kagan that military veterans at Harvard Law School strongly criticized the notion that Kagan was anti-military. But we need to highlight one other line in Whelan's post . Whelan writes of Kagan's decision to allow the military full recruiting access despite her opposition to "Don't Ask Don't Tell": "But, as George Bernard Shaw would have said to Kagan for selling out her supposedly deeply held principles, 'We've already established what you are, ma'am. Now we're just haggling over the price.' "
Update: Immediately after the portion I quoted, Whelan states "(My point isn't that Kagan deserves the Bernard Shaw slam--she doesn't--but rather that she evidently doesn't believe her own rhetoric.)"
In response to a New York Times article discussing Elena Kagan's opposition to the military's discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, Ed Whelan has again highlighted Peter Beinart's assertion that "you can't alienate yourself from the [military] without in a certain sense alienating yourself from the country. Barring the military from campus is a bit like barring the president or even the flag. It's more than a statement of criticism; it's a statement of national estrangement." Whelan also accused Kagan of engaging in "her cheap moral posturing in the aftermath of 9/11, at a time when American soldiers were at war defending our freedom."
It bears mention that military veterans at Harvard Law School strongly dispute the idea that Kagan was anti-military and stated that she had a "strong record of welcoming and honoring veterans on campus." In connection with Kagan's solicitor general confirmation hearings, three military veterans who were Harvard law students at the time wrote a letter to the Judiciary Committee that said:
We are sending this letter due to an op-ed by Flagg Youngblood titled "Solicitor general flimflam," which appeared in the January 30, 2009 edition of The Washington Times. This article unfairly labels Dean Elena Kagan as an "anti-military zealot." As Iraq War veterans who currently attend Harvard Law School, we wanted to inform the Committee of Dean Kagan's strong record of welcoming and honoring veterans on campus. We have enclosed the letter to the editor that we submitted to The Washington Times in response to Mr. Youngblood's piece. This letter highlights Dean Kagan's support for the student veteran community. Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
University of California law professor John Yoo -- who is most famous for drafting the so-called "torture memos" -- used his May 2 Philadelphia Inquirer column to urge a filibuster of Elena Kagan, Merrick Garland, or Diane Wood should President Obama nominate one of them to be a Supreme Court justice. What does Yoo think is so radical about these three people, all of whom are widely reported to be on Obama's short list, that a filibuster is in order? Apparently not much. Yoo writes that a filibuster "would have little to do with these three distinguished lawyers, and everything to do with President Obama and his Senate allies."
From Yoo's column, headlined "Supreme Court sanity calls for filibusters":
Should senators filibuster Elena Kagan, Merrick Garland, or Diane Wood for the Supreme Court? Yes, if there is any hope of fixing the broken appointment process and restoring limited constitutional government.
The three are the most-often-mentioned nominees for the seat of Justice John Paul Stevens, 90, who last month announced his retirement after 35 years on the high court. A filibuster to prevent a confirmation vote on his replacement would have little to do with these three distinguished lawyers, and everything to do with President Obama and his Senate allies.
Over the years, Senate Democrats have destroyed the confirmation process by turning it away from qualifications to a guessing game over how court nominees might vote on hot-button issues such as abortion, the death penalty, and racial quotas. They began the degradation of the advise and consent role with the 1987 rejection of Judge Robert Bork, who would have been one of the most qualified justices in the history of the Supreme Court, and the outrageous effort in 1991 to smear Clarence Thomas (for whom I served as a law clerk). They continued the descent with the filibuster of a slate of excellent picks for the lower courts by George W. Bush, and they reached a new low with their votes against John G. Roberts Jr. and an attempted filibuster against Samuel A. Alito Jr.
The lack of sober analysis of these nominees' records is not surprising. Conservative media figures and Republicans have already made it clear that they will oppose whoever Obama nominates. And recall that the legal analysis Yoo used in the torture memos was so shoddy the Bush administration was forced to withdraw them after they became public.
Conservatives appear ready to attack anyone President Obama nominates to the Supreme Court as suggested by a New York Times article that quoted conservative activist Richard Viguerie signaling that he will affix the "radical" label to anyone Obama nominates. Furthermore, the specific attacks on potential nominees cited by the Times do not hold up to scrutiny.
Liz Cheney said that Elena Kagan's decision while she was dean of Harvard Law School to reimpose restrictions on military recruiters because of the military's discriminatory "don't ask, don't tell" policy was "radical." But Kagan made her decision only after a federal appeals court -- including a judge appointed by President Reagan -- struck down the law requiring access for military recruiters. Moreover, Kagan's policy was similar to policies at many other law schools.