Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) on Tuesday pressed Attorney General Eric Holder for more information about Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan's involvement with the healthcare reform law after new emails emerged showing her rooting for the law when she was solicitor general.
Administration emails recently obtained by the conservative CNSNews.com through a Freedom of Information Act request show Kagan telling a former colleague "I hear they have the votes, Larry!! Simply amazing," regarding the reform bill. Theemails have rekindled calls for Kagan to recuse herself from ruling on the healthcare reform law next year because of a provision of the U.S. code that calls on justices to disqualify themselves when they have "expressed an opinion concerning the merits of the particular case in controversy" while in government service.
Sessions, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, ripped into Holder over his past statements that Kagan was barely involved. He said Holder and his staff failed in their duty to provide emails and other documents to the committee.
"I am deeply disturbed by these developments and believe that the Justice Department should have provided these documents to the Senate Judiciary Committee during Justice Kagan's confirmation hearing," Sessions wrote to Holder in a series of questions for the record. "The Department's failure to provide this information to Congress and to comply with FOIA requests, as well as your apparent inattention to these matters, is unacceptable."
Specifically, Sessions questioned Holder about:
• Any instances of Kagan being present in any meeting or conversation in which the health law and/or litigation related to it was discussed;
• Any instances when she was asked for her opinion or otherwise consulted regarding the law and its litigation;
• Any instances in which she offered any views or comments regarding the law and its litigation;
• Any instances when she reviewed any documents relating to the law or its litigation;
• Any instances in which information related to the law and its litigation was relayed or provided to Kagan;
• When his staff began 'removing' Kagan from health law-related meetings, on what basis that action was taken and in what other matters it was taken; and
• If he was aware of any conversation or meeting in which Kagan approved the involvement of the solicitor general's office in healthcare reform litigation.
Liberals for their part have been pressing for conservative Justice Clarence Thomas to recuse himself because his wife has financial ties to groups seeking repeal. Justice Antonin Scalia has also become a recusal target in recent days after he and Thomas attended a Federalist Society dinner underwritten by legal groups that are fighting the law.
"Clarence Thomas and Judge Antonin Scalia must remove themselves from hearing these cases," liberal commentator Al Sharpton wrote in the Huffington Post Tuesday. "It is the only way we can have a fair, objective ruling on perhaps the most pertinent legislation of our time."
It's up to justices to recuse themselves. None are expected to do so.
Thank You, The Hill and Mr. Pecquet
And please click on the report's "emails" link, where you'll find:
CNSNews.com is not funded by the government like NPR.
CNSNews.com is not funded by the government like PBS.
Because THAT, Dear Readers, is the way our news reporters/businesses are Supposed to be.