Arch-conservative Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okl.) has become the first Senator to officially oppose Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court.
"As with her nomination to serve as Solicitor General, I remain concerned about Elena Kagan's record," Inhofe said in a statement. "Now as a nominee to the Supreme Court, her lack of judicial experience and her interpretation of the Constitution also play an important role in my decision to once again oppose her nomination."
The rest of his statement is below.
"The position for which she has been nominated has lifetime tenure, and it is concerning that the President has placed such trust in a nominee that has not been properly vetted through a judicial career, having worked mostly in academia and never before as a judge.
"While her service as the Dean of Harvard Law School is an impressive credential, decisions she made in that role demonstrated poor judgment. While there, she banned the U.S. military from recruiting on campus, an issue very important to me. She took the issue even further when she joined with other law school officials in a lawsuit to overturn the Solomon amendment, which was adopted by Congress to ensure that schools could not deny military recruiters access to college campuses. Claiming the Solomon Amendment was 'immoral,' she filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in Rumsfeld v. F.A.I.R opposing the Amendment. The Court unanimously ruled against her position and affirmed that the Solomon Amendment was constitutional.
"I am also concerned about the seeming contempt she has demonstrated in her comments about the Senate confirmation process as well as her lack of impartiality when it comes to those who disagree with her position."
In another sign that Kagan will face some stiff opposition in the Senate, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Jeff Sessions (Ala.), referred to Kagan as an "activist" on Monday and signaled that the GOP will battle her nomination more strenuously than they did Sonia Sotomayor's.
Sessions added that unlike Sotomayor, who was confirmed last year after touting her lengthy resume on the federal bench, Kagan's lack of experience in the courtroom will make it easier to wage a fight over her nomination.
"She's not able to come before the committee and to say I've got a record, look at my record and let's see if you don't think that's a professional, judicial record that would be worthy of the Supreme Court," Sessions said. "She just doesn't have that. She spent most her career in academia, in law school, and even there, I think that she didn't demonstrate so much a mastery of any particular field of law."
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