Sessions Accuses Kagan of ‘Leftist Philosophy’

Posted June 4, 2010 at 10:54am

Senate Judiciary ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) Friday accused Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan of trying to promote a “leftist philosophy” while serving as a Supreme Court clerk and suggested she is more concerned with her own social agenda than the law.

In a statement released by his office Friday, Sessions sought to raise fresh questions about a series of memos Kagan wrote while clerking for former Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.

Although Republicans questioned Kagan about those memos during her solicitor general confirmation hearings last year, Sessions on Friday tried to suggest that the documents had been “newly unearthed” and argued they prove Kagan is a “strong liberal.”

“The newly unearthed memos reveal not only Ms. Kagan’s strong liberal views, but a willingness to bring those views into the courthouse — shaping and even replacing legal judgment. From issues such as guns to abortion to crime control, Kagan’s memos unambiguously express a leftist philosophy and an approach to the law that seems more concerned with achieving a desired social result than fairly following the Constitution,” Sessions said.

“These troubling memos have to be carefully examined, and it is now doubly important that the White House fully produce the overdue documents from the Clinton Library in order to shed further light on the philosophy Ms. Kagan would bring to the bench,” Sessions added.

A Democratic Judiciary Committee aide dismissed GOP charges, arguing that staff on both sides of the aisle have known about the documents since last year’s hearings and that Kagan has indicated they “are not necessarily expressive of her views today.”

The renewed interest in Kagan’s work for Marshall come as the William J. Clinton Presidential Library readies one of several document dumps, set for Friday afternoon. The library is poised to release more than 45,000 pages of documents relating to Kagan’s work in the Clinton White House.