Republicans force one-week delay in Judiciary panel’s Kagan vote

Republicans force one-week delay in Judiciary panel’s Kagan vote

Senate Republicans have delayed the Judiciary Committee vote on Elena Kagan’s confirmation to the Supreme Court for one week.

Sen. Jeff SessionsJefferson (Jeff) Beauregard SessionsRhode Island announces plan to pay DACA renewal fee for every 'Dreamer' in state Mich. Senate candidate opts for House run instead NAACP sues Trump for ending DACA MORE (R-Ala.), the ranking Republican on the panel, said the move is a protest against her record on military recruiting while serving as Harvard law school dean, her lack of judicial experience and her work on a partial-birth-abortion memo as a mid-level aide at the Clinton White House.

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“There are concerns about the nomination in a host of different areas,” Sessions said. “The nominee lacks the experience and intellectual rigor of practicing law and serving as a judge … and I think it showed in her testimony. She also lacked the clarity and strict intellectual honesty that I think we should look for in a nomination to the Supreme Court.”

Senate Judiciary Committee rules allow any senator to delay action on a bill or nomination until the next meeting or for one week, whichever is later.

“At the request of any member, or by action of the Chairman, a bill, matter, or nomination on the agenda of the Committee may be held over until the next meeting of the Committee or for one week, whichever occurs later,” the committee rules state.

Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahyOvernight Defense: Senate passes 0B defense bill | 3,000 US troops heading to Afghanistan | Two more Navy officials fired over ship collisions Senate passes 0B defense bill Live coverage: Sanders rolls out single-payer bill MORE (D-Vt.) granted the request but said the delay was unnecessary and assured the panel the vote would take place July 20.

He also noted that the committee voted on Chief Justice John Roberts’s nomination seven days after he finished testifying before the panel and on Justice Samuel Alito 13 days after his testimony. Kagan finished her testimony 13 days ago.

The conservative Judicial Crisis Network, in a Tuesday letter to the Judiciary Committee, demanded that Kagan recuse herself from any cases that reaches the Supreme Court related to the healthcare lawsuit filed by 20 state attorneys general and the National Federation of Independent Businesses challenging the healthcare law’s constitutionality.

Kagan, the U.S. solicitor general, represented the Obama administration in all legal disputes involving the federal government. In its letter, the JCN said it is “highly likely” that Kagan played an “official role” in the administration’s response to the lawsuit.

“Any participation by Kagan in administration discussions about Florida et al. v. The Department of Health and Human Services, in which she ventured an opinion regarding the case’s merits, clearly would require her disqualification from any consideration of the case by the Supreme Court,” wrote Gary Marx, JCN’s executive director.

Sessions also questioned Kagan’s role in advising or discussing the legal strategy involved in fighting the state challenges.

“It is all but inconceivable to me that when states challenged the healthcare law … she did not participate or express her opinions in the case,” he said.

Republicans on the panel also delayed for one week the confirmation of James Michael Cole to be deputy attorney general. Sessions said Republicans want to spend more time evaluating his tenure as a consultant to AIG, which received $182 billion in federal bailout money.