(KCPW News) Utah Senator Orrin Hatch is once again in the spotlight as the Senate Judiciary Committee considers the confirmation of another Supreme Court nominee: Elena Kagan. In his opening remarks during her initial hearing yesterday, Hatch said Kagan’s lack of judicial experience is not a factor that would disqualify her from being on the Supreme Court. But he then suggested the nominee has had little experience as an attorney.
“Ms. Kagan worked for two years in a law firm, the rest of her career is in academia and politics. As the Washington Post described it, she brings experience ‘in the political circus that often defines Washington,’” he said.
Hatch has previously said he thinks Kagan supports judicial activism, letting her own political views drive her positions on the law. He’s also said she was a “key player behind the Clinton administration’s extreme abortion policy.”
But Hatch was less critical in yesterday’s remarks, raising a series of questions rather than direct criticism.
“Does she believe it is valid for judges to mold and steer the law to achieve certain social ends? Does she believe that a judge’s personal experiences and values may be the most important element in her decisions?” he asked.
Hatch supported Kagan when she was confirmed to her current position, Solicitor General. But he opposed the confirmation of Justice Sonia Sotomayor, casting his first-ever no vote on any Supreme Court nominee in his 34 years in the Senate.