More Than 46,000 Pages of Kagan’s Clinton-Era Memos Released to the Public
Political reporters in Washington are preparing for a late night at work sifting through the National Archives’ just-released trove of memos and correspondence written by Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. The document release — available for public consumption here — is estimated to encompass about 46,500 pages, dating back to Kagan’s stint as deputy director of the Clinton administration’s Domestic Policy Council.
Today’s Kagan files are broken up with headings sure to appeal to GOP lawmakers and aides eagerly awaiting a “smoking gun”-type revelation that could complicate her upcoming confirmation hearings. More than a dozen bundles of files deal with abortion, and another half-dozen touch on gun ownership issues.
But at least one Senate Republican didn’t need to wait for this afternoon’s Kagan documents to draw his own conclusions.
In a morning statement, Judiciary Committee ranking member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said the nominee’s memos from her clerkship under the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall reflect “a leftist philosophy and an approach to the law that seems more concerned with achieving a desired social result than fairly following the Constitution.”
Ms. Kagan has never been a judge, and only briefly practiced law—spending far more time as a liberal advocate than a legal practitioner. Given this thin legal resume, her candid memos as a Supreme Court clerk arguably provide some of the best insight into how she would rule as a Supreme Court Justice. These troubling memos have to be carefully examined, and it is now doubly important that the White House fully produce the overdue documents from the Clinton Library in order to shed further light on the philosophy Ms. Kagan would bring to the bench.
It’s enough to make one wonder if Sessions, who requested Kagan’s Clinton-era files two weeks ago, knew what would come just hours after his statement was made. The Alabama Republican has vowed to hold up Kagan’s scheduled June 28 confirmation hearing in the Judiciary panel “unless the files were produced in time for senators to peruse them well in advance,” according to the AP.