Kagan Refuses to Discuss Her Legal Views

Sessions grills Supreme Court nominee over military controversy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2010 10:27 AM CDT
Kagan Refuses to Discuss Her Legal Views
Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan testifies on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 29, 2010, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on her nomination.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Elena Kagan began today’s round of confirmation questioning by declaring that it would be inappropriate for her to discuss how she might rule on future Supreme Court cases. That's ironic, the New York Times notes, because Kagan once wrote that confirmation hearings had taken on “an air of vacuity and farce”—because nominees wouldn’t discuss their views. She said Orrin Hatch counseled her to revise her view and be more cautious.

That didn’t stop Republicans from asking tough questions. Jeff Sessions grilled Kagan on her decision to limit military recruiting on Harvard Law School's campus, the Washington Post reports, saying she was “punishing the military” for the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy. “I respect and, indeed, I revere the military,” Kagan replied, saying she’d tried to give the military access while honoring Harvard’s nondiscrimination policy. “I’m a little taken aback by the tone of your remarks,” said a frustrated Sessions after a string of questions and accusations failed to move Kagan off her version of events, or rattle her confident demeanor, “because it is unconnected with reality.” (Read more Elena Kagan stories.)

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