Sen. Orrin Hatch said Monday that he has no doubt Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is going to be “very liberal.”
“No conservative doubts that this President’s going to appoint anyone but a more liberal person,” Hatch said in an interview with HUMAN EVENTS. "I have no doubt that she’s going to be very liberal.”
Hatch says Kagan has a reputation for fairness and that he has respect for her, but “this is for the Supreme Court of the United States of America..they’re appointed for life. Once they’re there, we’re going to have to live with them.”
Hatch was one of seven Republicans who voted to confirm Kagan last year as solicitor general.
“I knew when the President nominated her for solicitor general that it was a stepping stone to the court," Hatch said.
Another Senate Republican, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex,), derided Kagan’s elitism.
“She is a surprising choice from a President who has emphasized the importance of understanding ‘how the world works and how ordinary people live.’ Ms. Kagan has spent her entire professional career in Harvard Square, Hyde Park, and the D.C. Beltway. These are not places where one learns ‘how ordinary people live," Cornyn, a member of the Judiciary Committee, said in a statement.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, the ranking member on the Judiciary Committee, pointed out the areas Republicans will be looking at during the confirmation process: Kagan’s judicial inexperience — her “short time as solicitor general, arguing just six cases before the court, is troubling” — and her role in trying to keep the military from recruiting on Harvard’s campus because of the Pentagon’s "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" policy. She joined an amicus brief on the case to the Supreme Court, which ruled unanimously against her side.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) gave Kagan a positive nod, saying, “I have been generally pleased with her job performance as Solicitor General, particularly regarding legal issues related to the War on Terror…As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, I intend to be fair and firm in my questioning of the nominee.”
Sen. Jon Kyl and Hatch, two of the three GOP Judiciary Committee members who voted with four other Republicans and all Democrats to confirm Kagan last year as U.S. solicitor general, said their previous “yea” votes don’t mean they’ll repeat that vote for the Supreme Court nomination.
“As I made clear when I supported her confirmation as solicitor general, a temporary political appointment, is far different than a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court,” Kyl said in a statement.