Elena Kagan

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Judicial Crisis Network excitedly announces that Roy Blunt would not vote to confirm Elena Kagan.  That might be relevant if Blunt actually served in the Senate.
  • The NRA has come out in opposition to Kagan.
  • The fact that the wife of a sitting Supreme Court justice is leading an organization dedicated to opposing President Obama doesn't seem inappropriate at all.
  • A Christian radio station has pulled out of a Christian music festival in Oshkosh, WI because Sojourners founder Jim Wallis had been invited to speak.
  • Jane Chastain says that Christians and the laziness are to blame for all of the problems facing America today.
  • You know what really caused the BP oil spill?  Immorality.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Mike Huckabee is testing out syndication for his Fox News program.
  • The NRA has, so far, sat out the Elena Kagan nomination and the Right is miffed.
  • The US Attorney failed to appear and file formal charges against Rev. Mahoney for his June 8 arrest on a public sidewalk in front of a Planned Parenthood in Washington, D.C.
  • Robert George wants to know if President Obama is a liar or a bigot, 'cause he is one or the other.
  • OneNewsNow warns that atheists are "on a search-and-destroy mission against any vestige of religion in public life" ... via billboards.
  • Finally, Concerned Women for America's Brenda Zurita didn't get a seat on the bus and is very upset about it.

Dreaming Of What Might Have Been Had Boykin Testified At Kagan's Hearing

Last week we noted that Senate Republicans had put Gen. Jerry Boykin on their list of witnesses to testify against Elena Kagan during her Supreme Court confirmation hearing, seemingly unaware of just how radically right-wing his views were.

Sadly, they quickly wised up and dropped him from the list but, in a serendipitous turn of events, the AFA's Bryan Fischer had Boykin on his radio program today to discuss the entire issue.

In this clip, Fischer calls out Senate Republicans to caving to a bunch of bloggers sitting around in the pajamas and clicking away on their laptops, and Boykin agrees, saying that Sen. Sessions called him to apologize but that doesn't change the fact that there are no good Christian men in Congress who are willing to stand up for the truth.  Boykin then goes on to give a quick synopsis of what he would have said, had his invitation not been rescinded, eventually getting into Sen. Inhofe territory suggesting that the troops will be unwilling to die for their fellow gay soldiers:

Now, that sort of testimony might be relevant to a hearing about Don't Ask, Don't Tell, but that Boykin intended to deliver it during a confirmation hearing for Kagan seems rather odd, to put it mildly.  

So it seems pretty clear that Senate Republicans made a smart move by dropping Boykin ... after all, I am sure that the last thing they wanted was to watch Boykin go off about how Islam is not a religion and should not be protected by the First Amendment:

The Kagan "Smoking Gun"? Hardly

It seems that the Right is all agog over this article in the "National Review" by Shannen Coffin, claiming that Elena Kagan "manipulated the statement of a medical organization to protect partial-birth abortion" while working in the Clinton White House.

Here is the gist of Coffin's "bombshell":

There is no better example of this distortion of science than the language the United States Supreme Court cited in striking down Nebraska’s ban on partial-birth abortion in 2000. This language purported to come from a “select panel” of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a supposedly nonpartisan physicians’ group. ACOG declared that the partial-birth-abortion procedure “may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman.” The Court relied on the ACOG statement as a key example of medical opinion supporting the abortion method.

Coffin points to this draft copy [PDF] of the ACOG statement which does not include the phrase “[An intact D & X] may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman." Instead, that phrase was handwritten in as a suggestion from Kagan.

The phrase was included in the final version and has apparently been cited by judges in cases involving the prodecure ... and this is somehow proof that Kagan is willing to "override a scientific finding with her own calculated distortion in order to protect access to the most despicable of abortion procedures seriously twisted the judicial process" and therefore is unfit for the Supreme Court.

Of course, if you bother to actually read the document Coffin cites, or the final ACOG statement itself, it is abundantly clear that this one sentence fits with the overall position being advocated by ACOG, which was that any "legislation prohibiting specific medical practices, such as intact D & X, may outlaw techniques that are critical to the lives and health of American women. The intervention of legislative bodies into medical decision making is inappropriate, ill advised, and dangerous.."

Here is the entire ACOG statement, so you can judge for youself wheter the inclusion of this one sentence in any way changes ACOG's fundamental point or distorts science:

THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS,

Washington, DC.

ACOG Statement of Policy

STATEMENT ON INTACT DILATATION AND EXTRACTION

The debate regarding legislation to prohibit a method of abortion, such as the legislation banning ``partial birth abortion,'' and ``brain sucking abortions,'' has prompted questions regarding these procedures. It is difficult to respond to these questions because the descriptions are vague and do not delineate a specific procedure recognized in the medical literature. Moreover, the definitions could be interpreted to include elements of many recognized abortion and operative obstetric techniques.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) believes the intent of such legislative proposals is to prohibit a procedure referred to as ``Intact Dilatation and Extraction'' (Intact D & X). This procedure has been described as containing all of the following four elements:

1. deliberate dilatation of the cervix, usually over a sequence of days;

2. instrumental conversion of the fetus to a footling breech;

3. breech extraction of the body excepting the head; and

4. partial evacuation of the intracranial contents of a living fetus to effect vaginal delivery of a dead but otherwise intact fetus.

Because these elements are part of established obstetric techniques, it must be emphasized that unless all four elements are present in sequence, the procedure is not an intact D & X.

Abortion intends to terminate a pregnancy while preserving the life and health of the mother. When abortion is performed after 16 weeks, intact D & X is one method of terminating a pregnancy. The physician, in consultation with the patient, must choose the most appropriate method based upon the patient's individual circumstances.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 5.3% of abortions performed in the United States in 1993, the most recent data available, were performed after the 16th week of pregnancy. A preliminary figure published by the CDC for 1994 is 5.6%. The CDC does not collect data on the specific method of abortion, so it is unknown how many of these were performed using intact D & X. Other data show that second trimester transvaginal instrumental abortion is a safe procedure.

Terminating a pregnancy is performed in some circumstances to save the life or preserve the health of the mother. Intact D & X is one of the methods available in some of these situations. A select panel convened by ACOG could identify no circumstances under which this procedure, as defined above, would be the only option to save the life or preserve the health of the woman. An intact D & X, however, may be the best or most appropriate procedure in a particular circumstance to save the life or preserve the health of a woman, and only the doctor, in consultation with the patient, based upon the woman's particular circumstances can make this decision. The potential exists that legislation prohibiting specific medical practices, such as intact D & X, may outlaw techniques that are critical to the lives and health of American women. The intervention of legislative bodies into medical decision making is inappropriate, ill advised, and dangerous.

Approved by the Executive Board, January 12, 1997.

The Hypocrisy At The Heart Of The Right's Complaints About "Judicial Activism"

Given that we are in the middle of Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearing and keep hearing all sorts of complaints from the Right about "judicial activism" and "legislating from the bench" and whatever, I just wanted to highlight this article from Focus on the Family because it  perfectly demonstrates just how bogus this entire talking point really is: 

A new front just opened Monday in the political tug-of-war over "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" – a Clinton-era policy prohibiting people who are openly gay or lesbian from serving in the military.

U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips in Riverside, Calif., agreed to hear a case that challenges the military policy. The lawsuit was filed by the Log Cabin Republicans, a fiscally conservative, gay-activist group within the Republican Party.

Bruce Hausknecht, judicial analyst for CitizenLink, is concerned the proceedings could become a show trial – with the underlying intent to solidifying the concept that gay members of the military are a victimized class and in need of special protections.

"Once again, gay activists want to use the courts to impose social change rather than leaving this issue to the democratic process," said Hausknecht. "There never seems a lack of judges who will jump at the chance to legislate from the bench."

Hausknecht is angry that the Log Cabin Republicans are trying to use to the courts to impose this change instead of allowing the democratic process to take care of it.  At the same time, Focus on the Family is vehemently opposing efforts in Congress to repeal DADT, which is the very "democratic process" they say should be used. 

So what happens if Congress does manage to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

Robert Maginnis, senior fellow for national security with the Family Research Council, doesn't make much out of this case, as he believes Congress will succeed in repealing the policy well before the November election – and before the court can rule.

"The real decision's going to be made by the Congress," said Maginnis, "and then we have a fight after that – if, in fact, they do repeal."

Hmmm .... is FRC suggesting that they will go to court to fight the repeal of DADT?  

But what about the sanctity of the "democratic process"?  What about using judges to impose decisions contrary to the will of the people?  What about legislating from the bench? 

So apparently the Religious Right is opposed to using the courts to try and repeal DADT ... but entirely willing to use the courts to try and repeal any repeal of DADT. 

Any Group With Just 15% Support Should Not Be Calling Anyone an "Ideologue"

Outside of the incessant Twittering of the Judicial Crisis Network's Carrie Severino, I haven't seen much commentary from the Right on Elena Kagan's hearing today ... and the few things I have seen have tended to be along the line of this ridiculous press release from the American Life League:

"Elena Kagan has revealed herself as the pro-abortion activist she is. The 'health of the mother' exception has long been code for abortion on demand for any reason under the sun - including financial 'health.'

"Kagan's position is clearly opposed by the majority of Americans who self-identify as pro-life. While we are not shocked that an Obama nominee would be anything but rabidly pro-death, we are compelled to demand representation from our elected leaders: this pro-abortion ideologue is not fit to serve on the Supreme Court.

While poll results may show that a bare plurality of Americans consider themselves "pro-life," a whopping 80% believe that the option should be available in certain circumstances ... like for "the health of the mother":

Only 15% believe abortion should be illegal in all circumstances, which is the position held by the American Life League .. and yet ALL claims that it is Kagan who is the extremist ideologue.

Kagan: A Fake John Roberts, A Radical Homosexualist, and a Sign of The End Times

As the questioning in Elena Kagan's confirmation hearing finally gets underway, right-wing groups are busy releasing statements and reports claiming she is everything from a "clear and present danger to the Constitution" to a sign of the end times.

The Judicial Crisis Network's first day write-up is particularly confusing, as they seem convinced that Kagan is trying to "disguise herself as the next John Roberts" 

The Senate Judiciary Committee just concluded the first day of Elena Kagan's hearings to replace Justice Stevens on the Supreme Court. Our summary of Day 1: She may not be a Constitutionalist, but she sure plays one on TV.

As we expected, Kagan followed in Justice Sotomayor's footsteps and disguised herself as the next John Roberts, and Democratic Senators did their best to help her hide from her record of extreme activism on abortion, 2nd Amendment rights, and the scope of government power. According to Kagan, "what the Supreme Court does is to safeguard the rule of law, through a commitment to even-handedness, principle, and restraint." In the immortal words of The Who, "Don't get fooled again."

Seeing as it was John Roberts who "disguised" himself as a umpire who would just call balls and strikes and then, once confirmed, revealed himself to be a blatant judicial activist, that is a pretty ironic criticism for JCN to level.

But at least the JCN's complaints are at least coherent, unlike those of Gordon Klingenschmitt:

Chaplain Klingenschmitt has contracted with a team of investigative journalists including Brian Camenker, Amy Contrada and Peter LaBarbera to investigate and report breaking news about Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan.

While serving as Dean of Harvard Law School, Kagan's administration demanded and forced Blue-Cross, Blue-Shield to cover sex-change operations as an "equal right" paid benefit, harming gender-confused students, as confirmed in 2006 and 2008 by Harvard Crimson newspaper articles.

Kagan also offered sympathetic ear to lesbian group Lambda's Transgender Task Force demand to force all women to share public bathrooms and locker-rooms with cross-dressing men, which is now part of Harvard's dormitory policy, according to the report.

"This is further proof Elena Kagan cannot be trusted to impartially rule on Obamacare or bathroom bills like ENDA, since she believes sin is a Constitutional right," said Chaplain Klingenschmitt, "but rights come from God, who never grants the right to sin."

Because if anything is going to clarify these confirmation hearings, is a report written by a bunch of militantly anti-gay activists like Klingenschmitt, Camenker, and LaBarbera ... and now that is exactly what we have:

Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan is committed to the radical campaign pushing acceptance of homosexuality and transgenderism as “civil rights." Her unprecedented activism supporting that view as Dean of Harvard Law School (2003-2009) calls into question her ability to judge fairly and impartially on same-sex “marriage” and other homosexuality- or transgender-related issues that may come before the nation’s highest court.

Kagan’s record while Dean of Harvard Law School (HLS) demonstrates her agreement with the goals of the radical GLBT (gay lesbian bisexual transgender) movement and her solidarity with those activists. Working hand in hand with students to expel military recruiters in protest over the Armed Forces’ ban on homosexuals (a “moral injustice of the first order,” she wrote) is only the most obvious example of Kagan’s passionate dedication to this controversial and immoral agenda.

Kagan’s celebration and active promotion of the radical homosexualist and transgender worldview has profound implications. As a Supreme Court Justice, she could be expected to overturn traditional law and understandings of family, marriage, military order, and even our God-given sex (what transgender radicals call “gender identity or expression”). She is a most dangerous nominee who must be opposed by all who care about religious freedom, the preservation of marriage and traditional values.

There should be grave concern over Kagan’s issues advocacy concerning “sexual orientation.” Even before her nomination to the Court, her enthusiastic and committed pro-homosexuality activism at Harvard (including her recruitment to the faculty of radical “gay” activist scholars like former ACLU lawyer William Rubenstein and elevation of radical out lesbian Professor Janet Halley) was highly significant for the nation. Now, it is imperative that Senators and the U.S. public gain an accurate understanding of the radical, pro-homosexual environment that was Kagan’s home at Harvard – and the GLBT legal agenda that Kagan herself helped foster as Dean.

But that is actually quite reasonable compared to this statement from Tim LaHaye and Craig Parshall claiming that Kagan "presents a danger as old as the book of Genesis" and that her confirmation could be a sign of the End Times:

First, if she becomes a Supreme Court justice, she could be the all-important fifth vote in favor of interpreting our Constitution, not according to the vision of our Founding Fathers, but from an international law standpoint, a concept that would have seemed treasonous to our Founders. Three justices on the Court have already relied on foreign law in their opinions: Justices Kennedy, Breyer and Ginsburg. Recently-installed justice Sotomayor has praised Ruth Bader Ginsberg's penchant for international law, so we can assume she will be a legal globalist as well. Five justices create a majority and with Kagan on board they could begin radically steering us away from view of the Constitution that honors our Judeo-Christian heritage and founding.

Second, if this happens, it will usher America into a new age of global law. With Elena Kagan on the Supreme Court, international legal standards could well be imposed on Americans by the High Court's legal globalists, even without the Senate approving a specific international treaty. In our new novel, Edge of Apocalypse, we show how this trend might create a modern-day legal nightmare for conscientious Christians. We need only to turn to Genesis chapter 11 to see how God opposed the ancient attempt at global unification: the Lord declared the tragic result that would follow if a centralized group of fallen men were to consolidate an unlimited, unrestrained power over the planet.

Keep your eyes on the Supreme Court's view of global law. It could be one of the most telling 'signs of the times.'

Better Luck Next Time, Anti-Kagan Activists

Earlier today, Traditional Values Coalition, Concerned Women for America, the Judicial Crisis Network, and Students for Life of America held a joint press conference to announce their opposition to Elena Kagan's confirmation to the Supreme Court.

The only problem was, as the CQ-Roll Call blog Congress.org explained, that the groups held their conference outside the Supreme Court, where reporters were awaiting today's rulings, rather than where the reporters covering it were actually stationed:

Activists against Elena Kagan gathered on Capitol Hill Monday but outside the wrong building.

An hour before the Supreme Court nominee faced questions from senators, the leaders of four conservative groups stood outside the high court in protest.

"We're calling on the senate today," Andrea Lafferty of the Traditional Values Coalition began. "They are going to be accountable for the questions they ask or don't ask."

One problem: The backdrop Lafferty and the others chose was the court, not the Capitol. The court reporters who were around focused on a competing press conference about the morning's court rulings .

Most of the cameras focused on Lafferty's group were those of tourists -- not the press.

"Why are they protesting here?" one passerby asked a friend. "She's not on the court yet. She doesn't work here."

Had the reps from the Judicial Crisis Network, Students for Life, and Concerned Women for America stood outside the Hart Building, they would have had better luck getting attention from reporters actually covering Kagan.

I guess I should also point out that TVC is considered an anti-gay hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, so you have to question the judgment of CWA and JCN for partnering with them for this event.

Off To a Good Start: Liberty Counsel Calls Kagan a Liar Before Hearing Even Began

The confirmation hearing for Elena Kagan is just getting under way and so I am going to start collecting statements and reactions and posting them both on the RightWingWatch and PFAW blogs ... and we are already off to a good start, as Liberty Counsel is liveblogging the event and, before it even began, accused Kagan of being unfit for the Supreme Court because she is a liar: 

There have been many comments in the media that this appointment will not change the dynamic of the court because Justice Souter's opinions were very much on the left side of the political spectrum. Kagan's confirmation would do more than keep a politically left justice on the bench. As apparent in her time at Harvard Law School, Kagan's ability to change the curriculum shows her ability to influence. A person with Kagan's radical ideology and means of influence could be dangerous on the Supreme Court. In addition, ethically Kagan has shown that she is not afraid to lie in a confirmation hearing, which brings into serious question her ability and fitness in the practice of law.

What Passes For News and CNSNews.com

Yesterday I posted a press release from Rabbi Yehuda Levin claiming that if Elena Kagan is confirmed to the Supreme Court, she will issue "extremist decisions" from the bench that will, in turn, unleash a "backlash" of anti-Semitic violence across the nation to sweep the nation. As such, Kagan's confirmation represents an "existential threat" to Jews in America and she therefore must be defeated.

Now obviously, that is insane.  But, as Media Matters notes, apparently not too insane for CNSNews to pick it up and turn it into an article.  And not just an old article that regurgitates Levin's absurd release, but one that actually contacted him for further comment:

Levin told CNSNews.com that his fellow rabbis--and hundreds of thousands of Orthodox and traditional Jews--are puzzled at the president’s choice of Kagan.

“What exactly was Obama thinking, President Obama thinking, when he nominated Kagan? Because eventually, down the road, someone--or some group--is going to ‘take the hit’ for the crazy decisions that Kagan is bound to make. So we would have much preferred if President Obama had given this ‘distinction’ to another minority group, instead of singling out the Jews.”

Barring a rebuff from the Senate Judiciary Committee, Levin told CNSNews.com that the rabbis want someone in the Senate to launch a filibuster to stop Kagan's nomination from coming to a vote.

"We’re waiting for the more courageous, decent senators--whether it’s a (Sen.) Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) or a (Sen.) Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) or a (Sen.) Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)--we’re looking for them to stand up and filibuster this embarrassing endangerment of a nomination,” Levin said. 

And, of course, Matt Drudge is now promoting this article ... and so the cycle continues.

Senate Republicans Tap Holy Warrior as Witness Against Kagan

Today, the Senate Judiciary Committee released the list of witnesses who will testify during Elena Kagan's confirmation hearing next week - here is the list of "Minority Witnesses" who will oppose her confirmation

- Robert Alt, Senior Fellow and Deputy Director, Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
- Lt. Gen. William “Jerry” Boykin, US Army (ret.)
- Capt. Pete Hegseth, Army National Guard
- Commissioner Peter Kirsanow, Benesch
- David Kopel, Esq., Independence Institute
- Colonel Thomas N. Moe, USAF (ret.)
- David Norcross, Esq., Blank Rome
- William J. Olson, Esq., William J. Olson, P.C.
- Tony Perkins, Family Research Council
- Steven Presser, Raoul Berger Professor of Legal History, Northwestern University School of Law
- Ronald Rotunda, The Doy & Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Chapman University School of Law
- Ed Whelan, President, Ethics and Public Policy Center
- Dr. Charmaine Yoest, Americans United for Life
- Capt. Flagg Youngblood, USAF

Most of the witness are to be expected, but some -like Tony Perkins and Charmaine Yoest - are rather surprising.

And then there is Jerry Boykin.  Really? That guy is completely off the rails.

He's the one who was forced to retire after declaring that we were engaged in a spiritual war with Islam that "will only be defeated if we come against them in the name of Jesus," saying that knows we will eventually win because our God is bigger than theirs.

Since then, Boykin has become a fixture on the fringe right-wing circuit, teaming up with the likes of  "Christocrat" Rick Scarborough and Dominionist Janet Porter and even sharing the stage with professional anti-gay activists like Peter LaBarbera.

In fact, Boykin is also on the Board of Rick Joyner's Oak Initiative which I wrote about just earlier today, along with Porter, Lou Sheldon, and Cindy Jacobs.

This is who Senate Republican want to bring it in testify against Kagan?  The mind reels.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • Shockingly, the Religious Right opposes Elena Kagan.
  • The Maine ethics commission has rejected the National Organization for Marriage's request to have its investigation dismissed.
  • Does it seem odd that an out-of-state Republican group would spend $500K+ to get Green Party candidates on the ballot in Texas?
  • Giving Elliot Spitzer a TV show is just like giving O.J. Simpson a TV show.
  • Ralph Reed and Marco Rubio meet up in California.
  • Bryan Fischer continues his "all public policy should be based on the Bible" agenda by explaining that it is okay to make immigrants show their papers because Nehemiah had papers.
  • Attention potential spies:  Peter LaBarbera is on to you.

Kagan's Confirmation Represents an "Existential Threat" To Jews In America

Normally, when we post a release from Rabbi Yehuda Levin it is about how allowing gays to serve in the military will cause natural disasters or cause God to repeal his "Divine Grace from our military's struggles" which will thus make us lose wars.

But in an apparent effort not to be typecast as merely an anti-gay loon, Levin is branching out, today releasing a statement opposing the confirmation of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court on the grounds that she is Jewish and that she will issue "extremist decisions" from the bench - the combination of the two, you see, will inevitably cause a "backlash" of anti-Semitic violence to sweep the nation, representing an "existential threat" to Jews in America: 

It is clear from Ms. Kagan's record on issues such as abortion-on-demand, Partial-Birth-Abortion, the radical homosexual and lesbian agenda, the "supremacy" of the anti-family panoply over religious liberties of Biblical adherents, et. al., that she will function as a flame-throwing radical, hastening society's already steep decline into Sodom and Gommorah.

It should be clear that Ms. Kagan's long line of forebearers, presumably tracing back to Sinai, would have sacrificed their lives rather than embrace the anti-G-d, counter-sanctity agenda that she has lived and promoted.

We are puzzled as to why President Obama would not honor a different minority with this nomination. We fear a backlash, fed by pent up grass-roots resentment over extremist decisions Ms. Kagan is bound to issue.

In these socially and economically trying times, we are most concerned about being scapegoated and targeted by even a tiny subset of the tens of millions of citizens simply fed up with an imperial anti-family, anti-Biblical Judiciary (an example being Judge Walker, now addressing California's Prop. 8). We wonder: exactly what was the President thinking?

For the record, let this statement serve as an unequivocal protest, establishing that Ms. Kagan's philosophy and approach are antithetical to traditional Judaism. We emphatically reject her ascendancy to the Court!

We urge decent Senators of both parties to have mercy on the nation, in light of the direction we are heading. This nomination must be delayed in committee for as long as possible, and then either voted down or filibustered. We family and religious people will surely employ our last weapon - the ballot box - to respond to those who ignore this existential threat, and insist on contaminating the cultural wellsprings from which we and our children are forced to drink.

It is late in the game. We implore voters to convey these concerns to their Senators - feckless and otherwise.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • The Glenn Beck camp is apparently none-too-pleased with "The Weekly Standard" that cast him as a conspiracy theory-loving nut. Go figure.
  • Richard Viguerie declares last night's election results as proof that "the Tea Party steamroller is rolling big government Republicans right of town."
  • Cliff Kincaid goes after those who dare to call themselves "conservatives" while eschewing the mandatory hating of gays.
  • I didn't even know the D. James Kennedy Center for Christian Statesmanship was still around, but apparently it is giving its annual Distinguished Christian Statesman Award to Congressman Robert Aderholt.
  • With Elena Kagan's confirmation hearing starting next week, you know what that means: time to anoint the hearing room.
  • Mike Huckabee is outraged that people are trying to use his "ick factor" remark to raise money and decides to fight back ... by using it to raise money.

The Pathetic Desperation of the Anti-Kagan Campaign

Because the Right has very little ammunition against Elena Kagan heading into her confirmation hearings next week, they have been desperately trying to make up "controversies" that they can try to use against her.

Which is why a donation made by Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal to Harvard University to establish an Islamic Studies program at the time that Kagan was Dean of Harvard Law School has been transformed into a right-wing claim that Kagan supports Sharia Law and "the enemy" while hating our troops. 

So I guess it was only a matter of time until we started seeing things like this in Frank Gaffney's column in The Washington Times:

Hats off to Sen. Jeff Sessions. The top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee has opened up an important new front in the debate over Solicitor General Elena Kagan's fitness to serve on the Supreme Court: her attitude toward the repressive legal code authoritative Islam calls Shariah and her enabling of efforts to insinuate it into this country.

By so doing, the Alabama legislator has given his colleagues and the country an opportunity not only to flesh out and evaluate the thin public record of President Obama's second nominee to a lifetime appointment on the nation's highest court but also afforded us all what Mr. Obama might call a "teachable moment."

Specifically, this Supreme Court nomination offers a prism for examining the concerted and ominous campaign under way to bring Shariah to America, thanks to the troubling role Ms. Kagan played during her tenure as dean of Harvard Law School.

Right Wing Leftovers

  • If you need a simple reason to support Elena Kagan, they fact that Robert Bork opposes her seems like a pretty good one.
  • The National Organization for Marriage is asking the Maine ethics commission to dismiss the investigation into its fundraising during last year's gay-marriage vote.
  • Ted Haggard uses Twitter to predict the end of the Religious Right.
  • Speaking of Twitter, why is Matt Barber's Twitter feed made up of nothing but WorldNetDaily and OneNewsNow articles?
  • Tom Tancredo lashes out at those who are trying to keep immigration off the Tea Party's agenda.
  • You know what will finally stop the oil spill?  Prayer and divine intervention.
  • Finally, I am very much looking forward to hearing J.D. Hayworth's explanation for why he was pitching "get free money from the government" seminars in 2007.

Right Wing Round-Up

Dismantling the Right Wing Campaign Against Elena Kagan

Our latest Right Wing Watch In Focus in now available and it examines the Right's plan of attack against Elena Kagan and her nomination to the Supreme Court.

It explains how, from the very moment Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement, the Right was vowing to fight any nominee that President Obama put forward to replace him, without even having any idea who it might be, even though they knew that probably would not be able to defeat them. 

So when President Obama nominated Elena Kagan, they swung into action, raising concerns about her so-called "radicalism": 

The right-wing's routine charges of "radicalism" have settled into a tight little rhetorical circle which leaves no room for actual facts or logic. Here's how it goes: because Obama is dangerously radical, anybody he appoints to anything should be assumed to be radical. And the fact that he is appointing radicals just proves how radically radical he himself is.

While any Supreme Court nominee would draw close scrutiny from across the legal and political spectrum, including someone with Kagan's widely acknowledged intellect and her academic and public service credentials, those who were ready to scream "radical" no matter what the facts might actually be have been screaming about Kagan's alleged radicalism:

  • Fox pundit Sean Hannity said "her background is strident radical left like the president's."
  • Robert Knight of the Coral Ridge Ministries charged that the nomination was Obama's "in your face" selection of a "radical lawyer."
  • FRC's Perkins decried Kagan as an "ideological twin" to President Obama and said her "ultimate agenda" is "to reshape the court with a profoundly radical bent."
  • Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery calls her nomination "a triumph for liberal ideology and judicial activism."
  • And this from the Traditional Values Coalition's Andrea Sheldon Lafferty: "President Obama's pick of Elena Kagan demonstrates his willingness to subvert the Constitution for his personal agenda and impose his leftist ideology on our nation for the next 30 to 40 years."
  • Vision America's Rick Scarborough, in a piece called Elena Kagan and the War Against Christianity, calls her nomination "the latest step toward the moral abyss for America." He calls Kagan "a doctrinaire radical leftist with a written disdain for the Constitution of the United States…."
  • David McIntosh, co-founder of the Federalist Society, criticized Obama for nominating "an individual who has demonstrated a lack of adherence to the limits of the Constitution and a desire to utilize the court system to enact her beliefs of social engineering.

Those pushing the radical charges won't hear anything else. Sean Hannity asked former Clinton advisor Dick Morris, "So is this just another Obama radical being elevated to the highest levels of our government?" But when Morris repeatedly told Hannity that Kagan had been a moderate-to-conservative voice in the Clinton administration, and predicted based on his experience working with her that she would be a moderate voice on the Court, Hannity would hear nothing of it, cutting Morris off to insist "no way."

This was, of course, just one part of a multi-faceted strategy of lies that the Right has undertaken as they try anything and everything in an effort to sink Kagan's nomination - so be sure to read the entire report to understand how Republicans and the Right are trying to use this issue to boost their political standing.

Huckabee Joins The Fray, Saying He "Cannot" and "Will Not" Accept a Truce In the Culture Wars

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is, predictably, getting hammered from social conservatives for his statement that the next president will have to call a "truce" in the culture war in order to focus on economic issues.

He has already been blasted by Concerned Women for America and the Family Research Council and right-wing activists continue to pile on:

Others, like Austin Ruse, president of the Catholic Family and Human Rights Institute and an early supporter of 2008 presidential hopeful John McCain, says Daniels will have a hard time winning the GOP nomination if he demurs on pro-life issues.

“Something like this will cost him any consideration from one of the key constituencies of the Republican Party," he told LifeNews.com.

...

Kristan Hawkins, the president of Students for Life of America -- a group that has spearheaded efforts to oppose Elena Kagan and the pro-abortion health care bill -- didn't mince words either.

"When it involves life, no one can make no a truce. There is no room for gray area, no time to play dead, and no time to stick out head in the sand. When you realize that 1.3 million babies are aborted every year, Governor Mitch Daniels’ words show a level of cowardice that is not expected from a presidential hopeful," she told LifeNews.com.

Even Mike Huckabee, who has steadily been working to establish himself as the champion of the socially conservative wing of the party, is getting in on the action ... and using it to raise donations for his HuckPAC:

I received an astonishing email today from a concerned friend who has been very influential in the fight to end the scourge of abortion.

Apparently, a 2012 Republican presidential prospect in an interview with a reporter has made the suggestion that the next President should call for a “truce” on social issues like abortion and traditional marriage to focus on fiscal problems.

In other words, stop fighting to end abortion and don’t make protecting traditional marriage a priority.

Let me be clear though, the issue of life and traditional marriage are not bargaining chips nor are they political issues. They are moral issues. I didn’t get involved in politics just to lower taxes and cut spending though I believe in both and have done it as a Governor. But I want to stay true to the basic premises of our civilization.

For those of us who have labored long and hard in the fight to educate the Democrats, voters, the media and even some Republicans on the importance of strong families, traditional marriage and life to our society, this is absolutely heartbreaking. And that one of our Republican “leaders” would suggest this truce, even more so. Governor Daniels is a personal friend and a terrific Governor, and I’m very disappointed that he would think that pro-life and pro-family activists would just lie down.

Are you ready to stop fighting for traditional marriage? I cannot. I will not.

Can you let the tragedy of abortion go unchecked while we get our financial house in order? I cannot. I will not.


A strong leader doesn’t need to focus myopically on one or two issues – but a strong leader is willing to fight for and defend their principles while rising to meet new challenges and solve all of the existing systemic problems confronting us.

For me these issues are critical. Indeed they are founding principles of my personal conservatism and part of the ideological foundation of the Republican Party. If you agree, I am asking you to help me send a signal.

...

Help me raise 2,012 new donations within the next 7 days for Huck PAC. That will help me show the importance of these issues to our Party and give us the financial resources we need to support strong conservatives who are fighting for life, traditional marriage, lower taxes, lower spending, secure borders and a strong national defense.

Help me send a strong signal – life and traditional marriage are NOT bargaining chips. Make a donation today.

FRC Planning $100,000+ Anti-Kagan Ad Campaign

I haven't really been writing much about the right-wing campaign against Elena Kagan ... mainly because the campaign against her has been so utterly predictable and ineffective.

Conservative groups continue to attack her even though, as Ed Whelan says, "Kagan is a safe bet to be confirmed, but it’s still important that conservatives use the opportunity to educate the public about the proper role of the court."

And so to that end, right-wing groups are planning on raising (and spending) hundreds of thousands of dollars on opposing Kagan's nomination

“We MUST raise $360,000 by June 30 in order to continue the momentum of our life-saving work!’’ [American's United for Life] president, Charmaine Yoest, wrote to her followers. Activist groups of all persuasions are using similar appeals.

...

[The Family Research Council's Tom] McClusky said his group expects to invest $100,000 to $150,000 in a Web and print campaign that highlights Kagan’s opposition to the don’t-ask, don’t-tell policy that forbids openly gay armed service members.

...

Other groups are also busy with anti-Kagan videos. Curt Levey, director of the conservative Committee for Justice, said his group is producing anti-Kagan TV ads, likely to air shortly before the final confirmation vote.

“How much we can air them, of course, depends on how much money we can raise,’’ Levey said. His group spent about $15,000 last year opposing Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor. Fund-raising currently is ahead of last year’s pace, he said.

Levey hopes to target the ads at Democratic senators in conservative states, such as Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana. In states without expensive media markets, a small investment can have a large impact, he said.

Pressure on Democrats in conservative states will be strong, predicted Gary Marx, director of the conservative Judicial Crisis Network, which is spreading its research into Kagan’s record through new social media and by traditional radio interviews and phone banks.

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Elena Kagan Posts Archive

Kyle Mantyla, Friday 08/06/2010, 4:38pm
The ACLJ's Jordan Sekulow is now saying that supporters of the "Ground Zero Mosque" are "terrorists." On a semi-related note, Senators McCain, Snowe, and Isakson also oppose construction of the Islamic Center. Yesterday, a Juvenile Court Magistrate in Ohio ruled that Rifqa Bary could apply for "special immigrant juvenile status" in an effort to clear up her immigration status as she turns 18. Ann Coulter will be headlining GOProud's "Homocon 2010." They apparently have no problem with history of anti-gay attacks. Elena... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/05/2010, 4:55pm
PFAW Statement: Elena Kagan Confirmed to the Supreme Court. David Weigel: African-American conservatives explain that the only racists are those who worry about race-based prejudice. Steven Benen: From the Party of Bush to the Party of Jefferson Davis. Tim Fernholz @ Tapped: You Know How Jesus Prized Wealth. Texas Freedom Network: Blame Hitler or Darwin? Ian Millhiser @ Think Progress: The GOP’s Agenda To Change The Constitution. Ben Dimiero & Eric Hananoki @ Media Matters: Meet Breitbart's Sherrod writer: Racist sexual "expert" and... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/05/2010, 4:42pm
An appeal has already been filed in the Prop 8 decision. Charles Colson responds to the Prop 8 decision: "I have warned you for months that our religious freedoms are imperiled. Well, Armageddon may be close at hand if a new court decision holds up." Mike Huckabee says the decision shows the need for a Federal Marriage Amendment. The director of the Center for Human Dignity at the Family Research Council says in vitro fertilization is dangerous because it "not only takes the Creator out of the equation, but it makes creation of life superficial, and she believes the... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Thursday 08/05/2010, 2:40pm
When Elena Kagan was first nominated to the Supreme Court, rumors swirled that she was a lesbian, which was more than enough evidence for Byran Fischer, who declared that all gays are biased, deviant borderline pedophiles who do not belong in public office. So take just one guess how he is responding to the Prop 8 ruling: Although almost no other organizations other than the American Family Association are making an issue of this, Judge Walker should have recused himself from this case since he is a practicing homosexual. This created a clear conflict of interest, and he had no business... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/04/2010, 4:01pm
I'll be updating this post as more statements are released reacting to the decision to oveturn Prop 8, but Focus on the Family is out with the first statement blasting the ruling (if you don't count Harry Jackson, who Tweeted a statement hours ago): “Judge Walker’s ruling raises a shocking notion that a single federal judge can nullify the votes of more than 7 million California voters, binding Supreme Court precedent, and several millennia-worth of evidence that children need both a mom and a dad. “During these legal proceedings, the millions of California residents who... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Wednesday 08/04/2010, 2:13pm
It seems that the closer Elena Kagan gets to being confirmed to the Supreme Court, the weaker the Right's case for opposing her becomes and, as such, the more desperate their campaign becomes. While Phyllis Schlafly is warning that Kagan is part of President Obama's plan to "break free from our Constitution" and "fundamentally transform America," others, like Robert Knight, are going completely off the rails: As we watch in disbelief, the United States Senate is about to take the Fifth on a Supreme Court nominee who has no business being near a courtroom except as a... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Monday 08/02/2010, 4:39pm
The Judicial Confirmation Network has released a 9 minute video (?!?) laying out why Elena Kagan should not be confirmed to the Supreme Court. Meet the latest Religious Right scandal:  the soldier behind the Afghanistan Wikileaks is gay! You know what would have kept Lindsay Lohan out of jail?  Jesus. I have no idea why, but Mike Farris, Wendy Wright, Frank Gaffney, Kitty Werthmann, Sen. Jim DeMint, and Rep. Pete Hoekstra are holding an event at the National Press Club on Wednesday on "U.N. Treaties and Their Impact on Americans."... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Friday 07/30/2010, 10:45am
Of all the fear-mongering fundraising efforts I have seen from the Religious Right during Elena Kagan's confirmation process, this new email from the Liberty Counsel has got to be among the most absurd. It starts off like any typical right-wing pitch: We believe that Elena Kagan is a dangerous, radical activist whose ideologies run counter to virtually everything we hold dear as advocates of pro-family, pro-life and pro-faith values ... [T]here can be no doubt that, if confirmed, she would "Kaganize" the High Court by giving place to her political activism. Even worse, she... MORE >