Supreme Court Nominee Kagan Faces Tough Grilling on Healthcare Reform

Republican Senators plan to question Elena Kagan on constitutionality of healthcare reform law.  The recently passed healthcare reform legislation could play a role in Senate hearings on the nomination of Solicitor General Elena Kagan to replace Justice John Paul Stevens on the United States Supreme Court.  FOX News reported that Wyoming Republican John Barrasso, who is also a physician, intends to quiz Kagan on the constitutionality of the healthcare reform law.  He plans to focus on the individual mandate that requires all citizens to purchase some type of healthcare coverage.  According to Barrasso, “That’s a 10th Amendment issue.  She is going to have to make a decision, if she’s on the court, about how that goes forward with these 20 states suing.”  Senator Jeff Sessions, (R-AL), the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, agrees, saying “You’ll have that anytime you have a 2,000-page bill.  A judge has got to be able to say no even to a signature issue of the person who appoints them.”

When President Barack Obama nominated Kagan as his administration’s solicitor general, she was approved by the Senate by a 61 – 31 vote – with three Republicans who presently serve on the Judiciary Committee supporting her.  This time around, their level of support is unclear.  Complicating Kagan’s confirmation vote is the fact she was confirmed for her current post in March of 2009, long before the healthcare reform debate split Congress along strict party lines.

“I will be glad to counter the Republicans when they actually step forward into the light of day and make their arguments.  That will be the time to counter them,” noted Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), the Judiciary Committee’s chairman.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply