Kagan to Pledge Impartiality, Defend Experience

Posted June 28, 2010 at 11:34am

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan will tell the Senate Judiciary Committee on Monday afternoon that if confirmed she would approach cases “impartially, modestly, with commitment to principle, and in accordance with [the] law,” according to excerpts released by the White House on Monday.

Through her remarks, Kagan will look to allay GOP concerns that she would be an activist judge. She will tell Senators that as a member of the high court, she “will listen hard, to every party before the Court and to each of my colleagues. I will work hard. And I will do my best to consider every case impartially, modestly, with commitment to principle, and in accordance with law.”

Kagan, the solicitor general, will also try to make the case for her résumé. Kagan formerly served in the Clinton administration and as Harvard Law School dean; she never served as a judge.

“The Supreme Court is a wondrous institution. But the time I spent in the other branches of government remind me that it must also be a modest one — properly deferential to the decisions of the American people and their elected representatives,” she will say.

“The Supreme Court, of course, has the responsibility of ensuring that our government never oversteps its proper bounds or violates the rights of individuals. But the Court must also recognize the limits on itself and respect the choices made by the American people,” Kagan will say.

The Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings are expected to last the bulk of the week. However, that schedule may change to accommodate events for the death of Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.)