Monday, July 26

Elena Kagan dishonest, shouldn't be on court

As you know, Obama has nominated Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court.

Maybe I'm out of step here, but it seems to me one of the most important qualities we should look for in a judge is honesty. It also seems logical that such a quality would be even more critical for a judge being considered for a lifetime appointment to our nation's highest court.

So if a nominee were found to have, say, rewritten a scientific conclusion by a panel of experts, so that the new version had exactly the opposite meaning from the real conclusion by those experts, seems to me that would be pretty strong evidence that the nominee would not be honest enough to be confirmed to the court.

In 1996 a huge debate was raging over whether a type of late-term abortion called "Intact Dilatation and Extraction" --often referred to as "partial-birth abortion"-- should be allowed in this country. After researching the procedure at length, a panel of docs from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) concluded that
[We] could identify no circumstances under which [the partial-birth] procedure . . . would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman.
At the time, Kagan was associate White House counsel for Bill Clinton. She knew that this carefully considered conclusion by the expert panel of MDs in the ob-gyn field would make it easier for Congress to pass a new law being considered that would bar this procedure. And if the measure became law, the conclusion would also make it harder for the courts to overturn it.

In December of 1996 Kagan wrote a memo saying “it would be disaster” if the panel's statement --that the experts could identify no circumstances in which the procedure would be the only option to preserve the woman's life or health--were released or leaked.

So Kagan--by most accounts a zealous supporter of unrestricted abortion--simply re-wrote the panel's conclusion, so that it now read,
[The partial-birth abortion procedure] may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.
Kagan's exact wording made it into the final ACOG report, and was later specifically quoted in the Supreme Court opinion that overturned Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion.

When the Senate Judiciary Committee questioned Kagan about rewriting the panel's conclusion to make it read exactly the opposite of the real one, she first tried to deflect the matter, but eventually admitted that the language she “suggested” was written in her handwriting and found in her files in the Clinton Library. And again, the words she used were added verbatim to ACOG’s final report, and later used--again word for word--by the Supreme Court in the Nebraska case.

Now, let me say that my conclusion that Ms. Kagan is unfit for the Supreme Court has nothing to do with her views on abortion. I'm deeply conflicted about abortion. I fully understand why many women would demand the right to abortion, but also understand why many people consider it an awful taking of human life.

But when it comes to Ms. Kagan, I am concerned that in rewriting the conclusions of the ACOG expert panel that cut against her own position, Ms. Kagan "tampered with evidence." She was dishonest, on a matter of grave importance. And I think that should disqualify her from sitting on the court.

But no big deal for the Dems: The Democrat majority in the Senate will still confirm her, since she is the nominee of their dear leader.

And thus another step toward a government for which anything goes, and the ends justify any means.

Oh, and for you leftist/Dems who think this story is in tinfoil-hat territory: It comes from Scotusblog, which specializes in issues involving that court.

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