Monday, June 28, 2010
Kagan Reveals Little During Confirmations Hearings
NY Times: Kagan Follows Precedent by Offering Few Opinions, by Charles Savage & Sheryl Gay Stolberg:
Elena Kagan deflected questions about her own views on gun rights and abortion during her Supreme Court confirmation hearings on Tuesday, instead describing Supreme Court precedents. . . .
Ms. Kagan was exceedingly careful on two of the most contentious issues in just about every Supreme Court nomination hearing: abortion and gun rights. When Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California, demanded to know why Ms. Kagan had described two recent Supreme Court 5-to-4 rulings in favor of gun rights as “settled law,” Ms. Kagan kept her answer simple.
“Because the court decided them as they did,” she said. “And once the court has decided a case, it is binding precedent.”
She later described the rulings as “settled law, entitled to all the weight precedent usually gets.”
Similarly, in response to a question about abortion rights, Ms. Kagan replied that “the continuing holding” of the court on matters of abortion — except for a case involving a procedure critics call partial-birth abortion — is that “the woman’s life and the woman’s health must be protected in any abortion regulation.” . . .