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Kagan's Positions On Hot-Button Issues In Spotlight

Publication Date: 
May 12, 2010
National Public Radio (NPR)
Nina Totenberg

Dean Larry Kramer is mentioned in this article on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's position on controversial subjects. Kagan, along with deans of several law schools, including Larry Kramer, signed a letter opposing legislation proposed by Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. NPR's Nina Totenberg reports:

For a legal scholar, Elena Kagan has a remarkably sparse public record. Her critics believe that is one of the reasons President Obama picked her. But with 31 Republicans having voted against her confirmation as solicitor general last year, it is clear that senators plan to pick Kagan's intellectual bones looking for meat.

The first new meat was produced Monday when documents from the Clinton Presidential Library surfaced indicating that Kagan had urged President Clinton, for political reasons, to support a compromise bill on late abortions, a compromise that would have banned such abortions except to protect the health of the mother. The president did support the compromise, but the Republican-controlled Congress rejected the measure in favor of a stricter Republican-supported ban, which the president then vetoed.

Other intellectual meat is to be found among the papers submitted at the time of Kagan's solicitor general confirmation hearing last year. In particular, there is a letter that Kagan signed, along with the deans of the Yale, Georgetown and Stanford law schools, opposing a key piece of legislation proposed by Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.