Alena Kagan, Obama's "justice" on th...

Alena Kagan, Obama's "justice" on the Supreme Court

Posted in the Aurora Forum

Johnny Appleseed

Peoria, IL

#1 Mar 27, 2012
Kenric Ward,a poster wrote: "President Barack Obama's former solicitor general, whom he elevated to the high court, is expected to participate in the oral arguments -- despite repeated calls for Kagan to recuse herself..."
"Kagan personally, as Obama's solicitor general, had authority and oversight in the crafting of the legal defense for Obamacare, which, however extensive her "hands on" role may have been, ethically disqualifies her from hearing the case on the Supreme Court."
And"Tom Fitton, president of the judicial watchdog group wrote,
"It would leave a cloud hanging over the court’s decision and could undermine public confidence in the impartiality and integrity of the court as an institution,”
But none of these valid reasons for Obama's "Justice" on the Supreme court have caused her to recuse herself from a cause that she was previously so personally and deeply involved in.
Did Obama know that his Health Care Plan would be so distasteful to the majority of Americans that he wasn't going to risk not having it remain in force that he, Like Franklin D.Roosevelt, who attemped to load the Supreme Court, put his own "Justice on the bench as his "ace-In-The Hole" just to make sure things went his way.
When the Highest court, the Supreme Court, rulings are tainted by politial considerations instead of handing down decisions based on law then its integrity and stature are seriously damaged beyond repair.
Alena Kagan can't claim impartially in regards to Obamas Health care Plan. If she doesn't want to dishonor the courts standing she will recuse herself. We'll also soon see how important maintaining her own own personal integrity and reputation is to her.

Eric

Addison, IL

#2 Mar 28, 2012
Who is Alena Kagan?
what

Sugar Grove, IL

#3 Mar 28, 2012
Eric wrote:
Who is Alena Kagan?
I guess we can assume you have never misspelled anything?
Is Elena Kagan okay with you. Either way she had no business being involved in this case due to her obvious past intimate involvment with Obamacare.
But as is typical for a liberal, ethics only cut one way.

Lets hope Justice Kennedy does swing this vote to find this blatant governmental grab unconstitutional.
Critical thinking

Algonquin, IL

#4 Mar 28, 2012
Filton and Judicial Watch filed suit against the Justice Department in February of 2011 seeking documentation to force Kagan's recusal. In his column announcing that suit, Filton stated "Here’s the issue: If Kagan participated in crafting the legislation or even discussed anticipated legal challenges to the law, she might have to recuse herself from the decision."

"If" and "might" aren't exactly hard evidence to back demands for recusal. But let's say the mere appearance in the absence of fact is enough.

In the same column, Filton also said: "The irony is that leftists are running a coordinated campaign to pressure Justice Thomas to recuse himself from any Obamacare cases. That there are no facts warranting such a recusal is no bar to the left-wing effort to politicize the High Court to protect Obamacare. So the only set of facts that might warrant a recusal in the matter relates to Justice Kagan and is being unlawfully withheld by the Obama administration that appointed her."

I find it interesting that a group that claims to be non-partisan would define an opposing viewpoint as "leftist". But let's ignore that.

A number of groups, and at least a couple of members of Congress, have called for the recusal of Clarence Thomas. Congressman Anthony Weiner's letter to Thomas stated: "From what we have already seen, the line between your impartiality and you and your wife's financial stake in the overturn of health care reform is blurred. Your spouse is advertising herself as a lobbyist who has “experience and connections” and appeals to clients who want a particular decision - they want to overturn health care reform. Moreover, your failure to disclose Ginny Thomas’s receipt of $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, a prominent opponent of health care reform, between 2003 and 2007 has raised great concern."

Perhaps both sides have a smoking gun in their hands. Perhaps not.

But here's the important point: no one involved in arguing the case has called for the recusal of either justice. This may mean that those who actually have access to the facts that matter have decided there is no conflict. Or it might mean that those with access to the facts know that recusal is warranted - on both sides; a 5-4 decision has the same weight as a 4-3 one.

I say we should let it ride and not get worked up over the issue. The justices may be impartial or equally stacked; either way, there are multiple constitutional questions to decide, any one of which could sink the act.

For the record, I'm a conservative, and believe the law will be struck down based on the questioning in the case so far.
Johnny Appleseed

Peoria, IL

#5 Mar 28, 2012
Critical thinking wrote:
Filton and Judicial Watch filed suit against the Justice Department in February of 2011 seeking documentation to force Kagan's recusal. In his column announcing that suit, Filton stated "Here’s the issue: If Kagan participated in crafting the legislation or even discussed anticipated legal challenges to the law, she might have to recuse herself from the decision."
"If" and "might" aren't exactly hard evidence to back demands for recusal. But let's say the mere appearance in the absence of fact is enough.
In the same column, Filton also said: "The irony is that leftists are running a coordinated campaign to pressure Justice Thomas to recuse himself from any Obamacare cases. That there are no facts warranting such a recusal is no bar to the left-wing effort to politicize the High Court to protect Obamacare. So the only set of facts that might warrant a recusal in the matter relates to Justice Kagan and is being unlawfully withheld by the Obama administration that appointed her."
I find it interesting that a group that claims to be non-partisan would define an opposing viewpoint as "leftist". But let's ignore that.
A number of groups, and at least a couple of members of Congress, have called for the recusal of Clarence Thomas. Congressman Anthony Weiner's letter to Thomas stated: "From what we have already seen, the line between your impartiality and you and your wife's financial stake in the overturn of health care reform is blurred. Your spouse is advertising herself as a lobbyist who has “experience and connections” and appeals to clients who want a particular decision - they want to overturn health care reform. Moreover, your failure to disclose Ginny Thomas’s receipt of $686,589 from the Heritage Foundation, a prominent opponent of health care reform, between 2003 and 2007 has raised great concern."
Perhaps both sides have a smoking gun in their hands. Perhaps not.
But here's the important point: no one involved in arguing the case has called for the recusal of either justice. This may mean that those who actually have access to the facts that matter have decided there is no conflict. Or it might mean that those with access to the facts know that recusal is warranted - on both sides; a 5-4 decision has the same weight as a 4-3 one.
I say we should let it ride and not get worked up over the issue. The justices may be impartial or equally stacked; either way, there are multiple constitutional questions to decide, any one of which could sink the act.
For the record, I'm a conservative, and believe the law will be struck down based on the questioning in the case so far.
You posted this about Clarence Thomas's conflict of interests. "Congressman Anthony Weiner's letter to Thomas stated: "From what we have already seen, the line between your impartiality and you and your wife's financial stake in the overturn of health care reform is blurred."
While this does present a possible conflict of interest there is a slight distinction between Elena Kagan and Clarence Thomas and that distinction is that Elena Kagan was directly involved in and a party to the Obama admnistration working officially to get Obama's health care plan passed into law. Clarence Thomas's wife was working as a (Citizen)to defeat Obama's health care legislation. Your post was very well thought out and well stated.
Johnny Appleseed

Peoria, IL

#6 Mar 28, 2012
Eric wrote:
Who is Alena Kagan?
Correct spelling, indeed, is one of the arts that are far more esteemed by schoolma'ams than by practical men,... " Author Unknown
Critical thinking

Algonquin, IL

#7 Mar 28, 2012
Johnny, I'm afraid I don't find much of a distinction.

As the original poster referenced Tom Filton, I dug up Filton's original column, and quoted it. "If" Kagen participated in crafting the legislation (there is, as yet, no evidence that she had a direct hand in the draft of the legislation or the defense preparation), she "might" have to recuse herself (Supreme Court justices have wide latitude in this area).

As with Thomas, there is no direct link. As with Thomas, there is circumstantial evidence that recusal might be in order; Thomas' household has clearly benefited from his wife's activity as a private citizen, and as a result of his position he clearly has a direct say in whether her client's efforts will be successful.

The only real difference I see between the two: the possibility of a Kagen conflict may be discovered through documents. She couldn't cover up the fact that she worked for the President. On the other hand, Thomas (like all other federal judges) was legally required to disclose the sources of his wife's income. From 2003-2007, his declaration of her income stated "none". It was only through an independent examination of the IRS records of the Heritage Foundation that we learned "none" was actually $656,589. As with Kagen, the possibility of a conflict should have been transparent through documentation, but in his case the documentation was in error.

It's possible that Kagen is hiding involvement in crafting defense strategy. It's possible that Thomas' oversight was willful, and an effort to hide a connection. Or it's possible that neither is true.

As we don't have full possession of the facts, and can't see into their hearts, we don't know if they - or any of the other justices - should recuse. Only they do, and we as outside speculators must trust their judgement.

The only calls for recusal that would matter would be those brought before the court. By my count, there are more than 30 attorneys involved in the hearings, any of whom would have the ability to ask for a justice's recusal; none have.

This leads me to believe that either a conflict of interest does not truly exist, or that both conflicts do, so it won't matter.

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