Judge Robert Bork said Elena Kagan’s admiration of Israeli Judge Aharon Barak is “disqualifying in and of itself” for her to sit on the Supreme Court.
Bork said Barak “may be the worst judge on the planet” because of his judicial activism and that the Israeli court under Barak was the “most activist court” he’d seen. Kagan has called Barak her judicial hero.
Bork said that if people understood that a U.S. Supreme Court nominee would follow Barak’s lead, there would be misgivings and “probably a refusal to confirm.”
Bork said he thought President Obama selected Kagan because he wanted to help craft the first Supreme Court with three women sitting on the bench and that strength of her credentials at Harvard law school made her the most easily confirmable.
“For some reason, the President is all excited about having a ‘first,’ and this would be the first court with three female judges on it,” Bork said.
Bork said he was prepared to say she was fine as a nominee because she hired conservatives on the Harvard faculty.
“Now I think that maybe it was her way of running for office,” Bork said.
Bork said in her confirmation hearings Kagan should have to answer questions about the kinds of material she would draw from to find the answer to legal questions and whether she would look to foreign or international law.
Bork said it’s typical for young lawyers going into constitutional law to have inflated dreams of what courts can do, and that Kagan has not had time to develop a mature philosophy of judging.
Bork made his comments Wednesday on a conference call sponsored by Americans United for Life, which is currently opposed to Kagan’s nomination. Dr. Charmaine Yoest, the organization’s president, said in light of the careful review AUL has made of Kagan’s available material, “The idea that this is a moderate nominee with very little track record is definitely a myth.”
A Rasmussen poll released today shows 42% of Americans oppose Kagan’s nomination, while 35% want her to be confirmed. Rasmussen reported that is nine points more than the week Obama announced her selection.