By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
In spite of mounting opposition from conservative lawmakers as well as the public, the Senate confirmed the nomination of U. S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. She will be sworn in tomorrow.
The Hill reports that Kagan was confirmed by a vote of 63 to 37 which was mostly along party lines. All Democrats with the exception of Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) voted for her, but only five Republicans crossed the aisle to join them.
Kagan’s background, which is long on political activism and short on judicial experience, made her one of the least popular Supreme Court nominees of recent times, but lopsided numbers in the Senate prevented conservatives from stopping the nomination.
The most intense criticism leveled at Kagan concerned her role in doctoring a statement from a major medical association regarding partial birth abortion to make it support her view that the procedure should be legal. Pro-life lawmakers said earlier this week that if they were in the majority in the Senate, they would have demanded a full-scale investigation of the incident.
Shortly after the vote, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) of the Senate Judiciary Committee said Kagan “is truly a person of the political left — now they call themselves progressives — one who has a history of working to advance the values of the left wing of the Democratic Party, and whose philosophy of judging allows a judge to utilize the power of their office to advance their vision for what America should be.”
Pro-life groups are also expressing their dismay in her appointment. “Although less than 50% of the country supported her confirmation, little could be done to stop it with a Democrat-controlled pro-abortion Congress,” states Dana Cody, President and Executive Director of Life Legal Defense Foundation.
However, Cody points out that the balance of power on the Court will not shift, and Kagan may not initially have the judicial experience to be the calculating strategist that Stevens was. Even so, the right to life will still not be championed by a majority of the Court.
Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, warned the public about the ramifications of appointing pro-abortion activists to the high court.
“The confirmation of a Supreme Court Justice who will not uphold the right to life of the unborn is an opportunity to repeat a simple truth: Any court decision, like Roe vs. Wade and others that affirm it, which say we have a right to do wrong, lack all juridical validity,” he said. “They are null and void in principle, because they call violence a right. We have no obligation to obey them, and in fact, must resist them by conscientious objection.”
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