In his opening statement in Monday’s hearing, Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) made clear that the he views Elena Kagan as an advocate of President Obama’s political agenda.
Quoting Obama’s statement that judges must have “a keen understanding of how the law affects the daily lives of the American people,” Kyl said: “The clear implication is that, at least in some kind of cases, judges should abandon impartiality and instead engage in results-oriented judging. Exactly what kind of ‘results’ is the President looking for from his judges? . . . Part of our task is to determine whether Ms. Kagan shares President Obama’s results-oriented philosophy of judging, or, instead is committed to impartiality.”
Noting Kagan’s “relatively thin paper-trail,” Kyl said that “there are warning signs that she may be exactly the results-oriented justice President Obama is looking for.” He cited Kagan’s praise for Israeli Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak and late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, and said that “a surprising number of things in her relatively thin body of work raise substantive concerns about her views on federalism issues, free speech, national security, Second Amendment rights, gay marriage, the death penalty, religion, and abortion.”