Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Friday accused Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan of being a “political lawyer” as part of a new GOP campaign to try to show that Kagan — if confirmed — would be incapable of putting her personal opinions aside.
Kagan’s confirmation hearings are set to begin a week from Monday in the Senate Judiciary Committee. The Kentucky Republican is expected to increase his criticism of her nomination as the hearings near.
In a strongly worded floor statement, McConnell argued that documents released by the William J. Clinton Presidential Library over the last several weeks show that Kagan has a history of putting her political beliefs ahead of the law; he said the papers make it difficult to believe that she could be an impartial justice. Kagan is currently the solicitor general.
“For most of her adult life, she has practiced a much different craft — the craft of political advocacy. We must be convinced that someone who has spent the better part of her career as a political advisor, policy advocate, and academic — rather than as a legal practitioner or a judge — can put aside her personal and political beliefs, and impartially apply the law, rather than be a rubberstamp for the Obama or any other Administration,” McConnell said.
“The Clinton library documents make it harder — not easier — to believe that Ms. Kagan could make that necessary transition,” he added.