Robert Knight: Kagan’s Just the Latest Radical Obama Lawyer
ACRU Senior Fellow Robert Knight wrote this column appearing on Townhall.com on May 11, 2010.
President Obama went back to the radical bullpen for his second Supreme Court nominee. Solicitor General Elena Kagan, former dean of Harvard Law School, is a legal activist who tried to boot recruiters off Harvard’s campus because of the military’s homosexuality policy.
Some observers thought D.C. Circuit Judge Merrick Garland might get the nod, since he drew favorable comment as a “reasonable” choice to succeed John Paul Stevens. But President Obama is not into “reasonable.” As a student of agitator/activist Saul Alinsky, he prefers to be “in your face.”
While Kagan did some outreach to the conservative Federalist Society at Harvard, she also carries some baggage: no judicial experience, a pro-homosexual agenda and, yes, a mysterious “sexual orientation.” The liberal media are going to have a tough time selling her as a “mainstream” nominee. As Solicitor General, she has worked to undermine the military ban and also the Defense of Marriage Act, which is why the Human Rights Campaign, the largest gay pressure group, issued a press release hailing her nomination. Marriage defender Maggie Gallagher bluntly wrote on May 10, “A vote for Kagan is a vote for Gay Marriage.”
Mr. Obama’s legal appointees to the courts and federal agencies comprise radicals who support an unlimited federal government, a “living Constitution,” racial and sexual entitlement, contempt for American security and the elevation of foreign opinion over that of American lawmakers. Miss Kagan fits right in.
Here are some of the lawyers that Mr. Obama has appointed:
Goodwin Liu to the Ninth Circuit. In March, 42 of California’s 58 district attorneys signed a letter urging the Senate Judiciary Committee to reject Liu, a UC Berkeley law professor, stating,
“his views on criminal law, capital punishment, and the role of the federal courts in second-guessing state decisions are fully aligned with the judges who have made the Ninth Circuit the extreme outlier that it presently is.”
Outlier is the polite word for “joke.”
In a book Liu co-authored, Keeping Faith with the Constitution, he wrote that “evolving norms and traditions of our society” should be the key to interpreting the Constitution. He also joined a brief arguing that the equal protection clause contains a “right” to same-sex marriage. During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on April 16, Liu cheerfully insisted that his radical writings provide no clue as to how he’d rule as a judge. Huh?
Eric Holder, Attorney General. Mr. Holder wants to bring terrorists to trial in civilian courts, has called America a “nation of cowards” for not being obsessed with race, and allowed the Justice Department to drop counts against New Black Panther Party members charged with voter intimidation in Philadelphia in 2008.
David Ogden, Deputy Attorney General (confirmed March 12, 2009; resigned Dec. 2, 2009). Mr. Ogden not only defended child pornography during the Clinton years (Knox v. United States, 1993), but represented hard-core porn producers, plus Playboy and Penthouse. He also likened peaceful pro-life abortion protesters to mobsters by arguing for penalties under the RICO organized crime statute (Sheidler v. National Organization for Women, 2003).
Cass Sunstein, Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Sunstein has written that animals have the right to sue, that the government owns our vital organs, that marriage laws should be abolished, and that the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to individuals.
Harold Koh, State Department legal advisor. A self-described “transnationalist,” Mr. Koh sided with European elites over Texas lawmakers (Lawrence v. Texas, 2003), and sued his fellow Yalie, John Yoo, over interrogation memoranda during the Bush Administration. In 2002, Koh urged the Senate Foreign Relations committee to approve the CEDAW treaty, which President Carter signed in 1980 but the Senate never ratified because CEDAW is a cauldron of radical feminism and collectivism.
Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court. From 1980 until 1992, Sotomayor served on the board of the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund. The New York Times described her as “a top policy maker on the board” at a time when the fund filed briefs in six cases on behalf of “abortion rights.” In Ohio v. Akron Center (1990), the fund wrote that it “opposes any efforts to overturn or in any way restrict the rights recognized in Roe v. Wade,” which would mean opposing bans on partial birth abortion and taking minors across state lines for abortions without parental knowledge. Sotomayor, who famously asserted privilege as a “wise Latina,” has shown a fondness for racial preferences, and she joined the Court’s minority against the Mojave Desert veterans memorial cross (April 28).
Dawn Johnsen, appointed to Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel. Johnsen was skipped in the 15 recess appointees made on March 27. An ACLU staff counsel and legal director for the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), she equated having a baby with slavery in an amicus brief in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services (1989).
Chai Feldblum, Equal Employment Opportunity Commissioner. A lesbian activist at Georgetown Law Center, she said she can’t think of an instance in which religious freedom trumps “gay rights.” Feldblum helped draft the Employment Non Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would impose the homosexual political agenda on every workplace with 15 or more employees. She signed a manifesto calling for legalizing multiple-partner relationships, a position she retracted at her Senate hearing.
Thomas Perrelli, Associate Attorney General. Perrelli was the lawyer for Michael Schiavo, who had his brain-damaged wife Terri taken off life support against the wishes of her brother and parents. As the No. 3 Justice Department official, Perrelli approved dropping charges in May 2009 against three New Black Panther Party members who had been charged with intimidating voters in Philadelphia in 2008.
David Hamilton, Judge, Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Hamilton is the U.S. District judge who enjoined the Indiana House in 2005 from allowing a pastor to mention the name of Jesus in an opening prayer, but in another case said it was fine to cite Allah.
The pattern is clear. Mr. Obama is front-loading the government with radicals who would be very much at home with Saul Alinsky, if not in style, then in political substance.
Elena Kagan’s willingness to work with a few conservatives has earned her some respect as a pragmatist. But it’s a good bet that she’d become a fire-breathing leftist when safely seated—for life.