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Sen. Bob Bennett says Elena Kagan not inclined to impartiality

SHARE Sen. Bob Bennett says Elena Kagan not inclined to impartiality

WASHINGTON — Elena Kagan will let her opinions get in the way of what the law says, Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, said Wednesday.

Kagan has stood in opposition of at least two decisions of the court she intends to join, he added. And for that, Kagan will get a "no" vote from Bennett on Thursday.

"I don't mind judges with strong opinions as long as they don't let those strong opinions get in the way of what the law says," Bennett said during a speech on the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday afternoon.

For the past two days, senators have been debating Kagan's merits and worthiness as an associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kagan is President Barack Obama's second nominee to the court. If confirmed on Thursday by the Senate — a confirmation that is expected to happen — she will replace retired justice John Paul Stevens, 90, who was appointed to the court by President Gerald Ford in 1975.

Stevens stepped down from the court at the end of its term in late June.

During his speech Wednesday, Bennett said people tried to criticize Chief Justice John Roberts when he was nominated for a decision he made as a circuit court judge. Roberts had upheld an unpopular, yet constitutional, law.

Kagan was faced with a similar situation when she was dean of Harvard Law School, Bennett said. He said Kagan didn't follow the law when she denied access to military recruiters.

Kagan has said she didn't bar recruiters. Recruiters, she said, didn't follow the correct protocols for access. Recruiting even saw a slight increase while she was dean, she said during confirmation hearings in June.

Bennett also said Kagan urged the Supreme Court to not consider a challenge to a gun law in Washington, D.C. It was a case the Supreme Court heard and ruled that the law violated the Second Amendment.

"She refused to declare support for the Second Amendment when she was questioned about it," Bennett said.

"My concern about her is that she has never shown any inclination towards impartiality," Bennett said.

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