Republicans Will Grill Kagan on Liberal Background

Posted June 27, 2010 at 10:33am

Ahead of this week’s confirmation hearings, Republican Senators on Sunday reiterated that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan’s confirmation is far from a certainty.

“I think the first thing we need to decide is, is she committed to the rule of law even if she may not like the law?” Judiciary ranking member Jeff Sessions (Ala.) said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

Sessions added that GOP leaders would consider filibustering Kagan’s nomination “if things come out that indicate she’s far outside of the mainstream.”

“This nominee has a very thin record,” Sessions said.

On “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) also expressed skepticism of Kagan’s fitness for the high court and alluded to criticisms by fellow Republicans of her time as a Clinton White House lawyer.

“I can accept that she’s liberal,” said Graham, before adding, “I need to be sure that her activist background will not be taken to the court.” Graham is a member of the Judiciary Committee.

Meanwhile, Senate Democrats continued Sunday to offer their support for Kagan’s nomination. On “Fox News Sunday,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), a member of the Judiciary panel, said the former Harvard Law School dean is “in the mainstream,” while Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (Vt.) predicted GOPers will fall short in trying to make political hay out of her lack of judicial experience.

To make his point, Leahy cited former Chief Justice William Rehnquist.

“Rehnquist was not a judge. … He came from the Nixon administration,” Leahy said. “That should not be a thing.”