WASHINGTON — Sen. Jim Inhofe criticized U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's lack of judicial experience and her "disdain for the United States military" as debate opened Tuesday on the Senate floor on Kagan's confirmation.
Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said Kagan, a former dean of Harvard Law School who now represents the administration before the Supreme Court, has "no judicial record, limited legal experience and a scant academic record — all of which make Kagan absolutely unqualified to be a Supreme Court justice."
Inhofe said his main objection to her was her disdain for the military, represented by her actions to bar recruiting at Harvard Law School because she opposed the military's ban on gays serving openly.
Kagan and others have said that recruiters had full access to students at the law school, but Inhofe said Pentagon documents confirm that recruiters were being severely hindered.
Inhofe said he also objected to positions Kagan has taken favoring abortion and opposing gun rights.
Democrats and Republicans presented dueling portraits Tuesday of Kagan and the Supreme Court she's seeking to join at the start of a politically charged debate over her fitness to be a justice, making what amounted to closing arguments before a near-certain confirmation vote by week's end.