Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn vows open mind on Supreme Court nominee Kagan; Sen. Jim Inhofe opposed

Sen. Tom Coburn says he promised President Barack Obama that he__8217__d keep an open mind on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan

BY CHRIS CASTEEL Modified: May 11, 2010 at 12:09 am •  Published: May 11, 2010
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/> "She took the issue even further when she joined with other law school officials in a lawsuit to overturn the Solomon amendment, which was adopted by Congress to ensure that schools could not deny military recruiters access to college campuses,” Inhofe said.

University of Oklahoma law professor Joseph Thai, who was a clerk 10 years ago for retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, said Monday that he expects Kagan to be confirmed easily. And he said she could use her political skills to bridge the ideological divide on the Supreme Court.

Thai, a 1998 graduate of Harvard Law School, said Kagan "somehow managed to unite the ideologically divided law faculty” at the school and made it a "healthier and happier place.”

The fact that she doesn’t have experience as a judge shouldn’t be disqualifying, he said, since some of the most historic figures on the court, including John Marshall and William Rehnquist, didn’t have judicial experience.

It’s an "historical anomaly” that all nine of the current justices had been judges prior to their appointments to the court, Thai said.

Coburn Questioned Kagan About Lack of Experience Coburn Written Questions to Kagan on Military Recruiters,...



What people said about the nomination

"Solicitor General Kagan has a strong academic background in the law. I have been

generally pleased with her job performance as solicitor

general, particularly regarding legal issues related to the war on terror.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham,

R-S.C., Judiciary

Committee member

"The fact that she has so much practical experience, on a court where it is missing, should be considered an asset. She has a long record as a consensus builder and is the kind of person who can bridge the 5-4 splits that have become so routine on this court.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer,

D-N.Y., Judiciary

Committee member

"We are extremely disappointed by the president’s nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court. … Even with her sparse legal record, one thing stands out — her

emotional and legal commitment to the LGBT (lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender) agenda.”

Tom Minnery,

senior vice president

at Focus on the Family Action

"She is a surprising choice from a president who has emphasized the importance of understanding ‘how the world works and how ordinary people live.’ Ms. Kagan has spent her entire professional career in Harvard Square, Hyde Park and the DC Beltway. … Ms. Kagan is likewise a surprising choice because she lacks judicial experience.”

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas,

Judiciary Committee member

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