PFAW Statement on Day One of the Kagan Hearings

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee began the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.  People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement:

“It’s been less than a year since the confirmation hearings for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, but in some ways it feels like a different world.  Thanks to the increasingly outrageous decisions from the Roberts Court, especially Citizens United, progressives have a new opportunity to reframe the debate, and Democrats on the Judiciary Committee are taking it.

“I was pleased to hear Democratic Senators speaking powerfully about the Court’s pro-corporate agenda and its willingness to bend the law to benefit powerful interests.  The Court has gone out of its way to make it difficult to hold corporations accountable for their actions.  John Roberts said that as Chief Justice he’d be an umpire, only calling balls and strikes, but as Senator Whitehouse pointed out in his remarks, at the Supreme Court, ‘the strike zone for corporations gets bigger every day.’  

“The other takeaway from today’s hearings is how little Kagan’s opponents have to work with.  The effort to tie Elena Kagan to Israeli Supreme Court Justice Aharon Barak, who has been praised by no less than Justice Antonin Scalia and Senator Orrin Hatch, bordered on comical.  Senate Republicans are facing enormous pressure from their base to oppose Elena Kagan, but can’t find any credible reason to do so.”

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