Sen. Burris Floor Statement on Judicial Nominees
(Democrat - Illinois)
"[T]he fact we have to go to a vote on this distinguished nominee; it should be done by unanimous consent, and we should not have had to take up this time. ... I agree with my chairman. These judges should be confirmed so we can move on with some other important business of this body.:
Sen. Ben Cardin: The nominee's responses were impressive
(Democrat - Maryland)
" I was impressed by Kagan's responses, her knowledge of the law and her unshakable demeanor. I believe Elena Kagan possesses the qualifications and judicial temperament to be a member of the Supreme Court."
[Sen. Mark] Udall to support Kagan
(Democrat - Colorado)
Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., will vote to confirm Elena Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, Udall said today.
Kagan, President Obama’s second nomination to the high court, demonstrated a “wide range of experiences and impressive intellect,” Udall said in a statement released today of Kagan’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I am confident that she is not a rigid ideologue and her approach toward deliberating cases makes her a fine candidate for the Supreme Court,” Udall said.
Sen. Isakson Statement on Nomination of Elena Kagan
(Republican - Georgia)
“I voted against Ms. Kagan’s confirmation as Solicitor General of the United States in 2009 because of her support of a ban on military recruiters at Harvard University. Her lack of appellate trial [sic] experience also concerned me greatly.
“I believe a qualified judge is one who understands the value and the strength and the power of the Constitution of the United States of America, who will rule based on the law, and who will not legislate through activist judicial decisions. I do not believe Ms. Kagan’s record has met this standard.”
Sen. Bob Bennett Statement Opposing Supreme Court Nominee Elena Kagan
(Republican - Utah)
“I have great respect for Senator Hatch’s judgment. I am impressed by the thoroughness of his questioning during the hearing and have withheld my judgment until after the hearings were over. I agree that many of the things in Ms. Kagan’s background are troublesome and justify a negative vote.”
Sen. Franken Opening Statement: Confirmation Hearing of Elena Kagan
(Democrat - Minnesota)
"I think we established very convincingly during the Sotomayor hearings that there is such a thing as judicial activism. There is such a thing as legislating from the bench.
And it is practiced repeatedly by the Roberts Court, where it has cut in only one direction: in favor of powerful corporate interests, and against the rights of individual Americans. ...Minnesota has more wetlands than all but three states.
And yet in a case called Rapanos, the Court cut countless streams and wetlands out of the Clean Water Act—even though they'd been covered for up to 30 years."
Sen. Kaufman Opening Statement: Confirmation Hearing for Elena Kagan
(Democrat - Delaware)
"Whether it's pre-empting state consumer protection laws in Medtronic, striking down punitive damages awards in Exxon, restricting access to the courts in Twombly, or overruling 96 years of pro-consumer antitrust law in Leegin, this Court gives me the impression that in business cases, the working majority is business-oriented to a fault. The Exxon case demonstrates how this pro-business orientation can affect the lives of ordinary people. In that case, four of the eight Justices who participated voted to bar all punitive damages in maritime cases against employers like Exxon for their employees' reckless conduct. Justice Alito did not participate in the case, so the Court split four-to-four on this point. But had he participated, and voted with the conservatives on the Court, then today individuals harmed by oil spills like Exxon Valdez would be subject to a flat ban on punitive damages in maritime actions. As we consider the current disaster in the Gulf, that prospect is worth contemplating."
Sen. DeMint: The Constitution is the precedent; Americans don't want their country reinvented
(Republican - South Carolina)
"Judges who rely on flawed precedent or their own "judgment" instead of the Constitution to justify their rulings can say "yes" to anything. This is precisely how liberal judges have rubber-stamped tyrannical actions by the government in the past and how they will do it in the future.
On these grounds, I feel compelled to oppose Solicitor General Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court."
Sen. Cardin Opening Statement: Confirmation Hearing for Elena Kagan
(Democrat - Maryland)
"If you have children, if you work for a living, if you are a woman, if you vote, if you care about the air we breathe or the water we drink, you need to pay close attention to this confirmation hearing and the work of the Supreme Court. ...Rapanos also was a step backwards, this time for the environment by reducing protection for wetlands under the Clean Water Act. If you are like the rest of us and wonder if BP will be held fully accountable for the economic and environmental devastation brought on by the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, you will be equally alarmed by the Supreme Court's decision in Exxon v. Baker which imposed limits on damages that can be recovered in environmental disasters.
Time and time again, by the narrowest of margins, this activist court has sided with big businesses over Main Street America wiping away protections set in place by years of legal precedent and congressional action."
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse Opening Statement: Confirmation Hearing of Elena Kagan
(Democrat - Rhode Island)
"Sadly, the Supreme Court seems to be buying what corporations are selling. The Exxon v. Baker decision, which arose from the terrible Exxon Valdez spill, rejected a jury's award of $5 billion in punitive damages – just one year's profits for Exxon – and reduced the award by 90%. Anything more than the compensatory damage award, the Court reasoned, would make punitive damages too unpredictable for corporations. The judgment of the jury, and the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, were for the Court lesser values than providing corporations "predictability." Well what of the unpredictability for Alaska of Exxon's drunken captain running his ship aground? And one can't help but wonder now what additional precautions BP might have taken in the Gulf if that corporation didn't know that the Supreme Court had its back on "predictability"."
Sen. Leahy Opening Statement: Confirmation Hearing of Elena Kagan
(Democrat - Vermont)
"When we discuss the Constitution's commerce clause or spending power, we are talking about congressional authority to pass laws to ensure protection of our communities from natural and man-made disasters, to encourage clean air and water, to provide health care for all Americans, to ensure safe food and drugs, to protect equal rights, to enforce safe workplaces and to provide a safety net for seniors. This hearing is, accordingly, about the fundamental freedoms of all Americans."