The Kagan Buildup: Guns, Intrigue, and the Foreign Figure

Next week, Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is going to control the news cycle (barring any nervous breakdown by Miley Cyrus) as the Senate begins her confirmation hearings.

And, like the week before a much anticipated Blockbuster release, you’re going to be trailer- teased with guns, intrigue, and a mysterious foreign figure.

Wonder what those are? Here are a few things you need to catch up on going into next week’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings.

— Earlier this week, rumors circulated that Republicans may boycott hearings if they don’t get enough time to review documents relevant to Elena Kagan’s nomination. But reported June 23 that Sen. Jeff Sessions – the top Republican on the judiciary committee – said he and the other GOP members fully expect to be at the hearings. Sessions said there would only be difficulties if “we had a really serious situation.”

This should be a shining moment for bipartisan relations, considering the Democrats expressed a similar sentiment during Chief Justice John Roberts’ nomination. “We need to consider this nomination as thoroughly and carefully as the American people deserve," said Sen. Patrick Leahy in a July 20, 2005 CNN article.

— The National Rifle Association has some questions that they want answered during the Kagan hearings.  Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network wrote in Human Events that Kagan is “a knee-jerk opponent of the National Rifle Association (NRA)” based on documents which show she chose supporting a government agency that she feels has a lax view on gun control (the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms) just because it was the enemy of the NRA.

HUMAN EVENTS this week reached out to the NRA for comments.

“We look forward to the hearing process just to make sure we get a full and detailed explanation from the nominee as to where she stands, and this is one of those many issues,” NRA spokesperson Andrew Arulanandam said.

He also said the NRA is working with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee to make sure tough second amendment questions are asked.

The NRA also responded to whether Kagan equivocates the NRA with the KKK, as National Review speculated.  

“It really is bizarre,” Arulanandam said of the situation.

— Finally, Kagan’s love of Israeli judge Aharon Barak, a known judicial activist, caused Judge Robert Bork Wednesday to say that alone disqualified her from sitting on the Supreme Court.  

Capitol Hill has questions about this, too. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) expressed concern today on the Senate floor about Kagan’s idolization of Barak:

“Who is this judge who, for Ms. Kagan at least, is literally the best representation of the rule of law?  Judge Richard Posner … concluded that to Justice Barak, “the judiciary is a law unto itself,” Hatch said.

His concluding comments show why he thinks her choice of judicial heroes is important to the confirmation process.

"The most important qualification for the position is her judicial philosophy, the kind of Justice she will be," he said. "The evidence for her judicial philosophy comes primarily from her record, and I have touched on some areas of concern that must be examined more closely."