May 18 2010
Meghan Hughes (202-224-5972) or Kevin Bishop (864-250-1417)WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) today made this statement after meeting with Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan. Graham is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“Ms. Kagan is not someone a Republican president would have chosen for a position on the Supreme Court. However the questions the country and Senate will be required to answer are whether she is qualified for the job, possesses the appropriate temperament, and whether her judicial philosophy is within the mainstream of American jurisprudence. It is very important for a nominee to understand the difference between the role of a judge who interprets the law and an elected official who writes the law.
“We had a good meeting and discussed her qualifications and background in the law. We also discussed legal issues related to the War on Terror and positions she has taken in her position as Solicitor General. On many of these issues, we found common agreement.”
“I do not believe that prior judicial experience is a prerequisite for sitting on the Court. Some of the most distinguished justices in history, such as the former Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist, did not have prior experience.
“However, Ms. Kagan’s lack of a judicial record will make the hearings even more important. Because she has no judicial decisions to review, her writings and opinions on issues regarding the law will be closely scrutinized. These documents will provide the committee and country a window into her judicial philosophy, qualifications and temperament.
On Military Recruitment:
“Ms. Kagan explained to me that any position she took regarding military recruitment at Harvard should not be taken as a lack of respect for the U.S. Armed Forces. She noted that her father was a World War II veteran. I take her at her word that she respects the military and our men and women serving in uniform.”