It is often difficult for the lay person to have a basis from which to evaluate the qualifications of a judicial candidate and it’s most daunting to listen to the roar of the media discussing a nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court. Without offering any opinion on Solicitor General Kagan, I suggest that Sen. Cornyn’s discussion offers an excellent insight into the most salient issues surrounding such a candidate. While some may disagree with his conclusions, the statement of the issues is spot-on.
WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, released the following statement announcing he will oppose the nomination of Elena Kagan to be Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court:
“Solicitor General Kagan’s testimony before the Judiciary Committee did not assure me that she agrees with the traditional understanding of the proper role of a judge. Judges should strictly interpret the written Constitution, which means both enforcing written limitations on the scope of government power, such as the Second Amendment and the Commerce Clause, as well as not inventing new rights or imposing their own policy views on the American people.
“Ms. Kagan’s testimony about her judicial philosophy was vague and open to multiple interpretations. She was unable to articulate limits on the federal Commerce Clause power. She did not rule out overturning the Supreme Court’s recent decisions recognizing the importance of the Second Amendment. She backed away from her previous conviction that judicial nominees should be forthright about the direction they would move the courts.
“Also, Solicitor General Kagan lacks experience that could give us more insight into her judicial philosophy. As a lawyer, she has never tried a case to verdict. She only joined the Supreme Court bar in 2009, and she has never served as a judge.
“For these reasons, I will oppose her nomination.”