Kyl Says Kagan Compared Senators’ Bill to ‘Actions of Dictators’

Posted May 16, 2010 at 10:40am

Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said Sunday he has serious concerns about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s views about the war on terrorism.

The Arizona Republican complained on CBS’s “Face the Nation” about Kagan’s response to a bill he worked on in 2005 that became law, which defined and classified the term “enemy combatants.”

“She wrote a letter, along with some other law professors, to the Senate and described that bill that we had at the time in most unflattering terms and contended that we had to provide Article Three, or regular civilian court appeals, from the decisions of military commissions, which of course would make the whole point of military commissions irrelevant,” Kyl said. “She compared our bill to the fundamentally lawless actions of dictators.

“Now, that’s not very judicious. And I don’t know whether she’d recuse herself from cases that involve those kinds of questions, but it certainly is a question that I’m going to have to ask her. Can she lay those political views aside when she deals with a case concerning terrorists?”

Judiciary member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) responded that she wasn’t familiar with the situation described by Kyl, but she would look into it.

Feinstein described Kagan as a “mainstream-thinking individual” and added, “I have seen nothing that ought to cause anything other than her being confirmed.”

Later in the program, Kyl said he did not believe Senate Republicans would or should filibuster Kagan’s nomination.

“The filibuster should be relegated to the extreme circumstances, and I don’t think Elena Kagan represents that,” Kyl said.