Jul 22 2010

Sen. Richard Shelby to oppose U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan

U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby announced today that he will vote against Elena Kagan's confirmation as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.

Shelby, R-Ala., now joins Sen. Jeff Sessions and the majority of Senate Republicans expected to oppose Kagan when her nomination comes up for a full Senate vote. President Barack Obama nominated Kagan, the current U.S. solicitor general, to replace retiring Justice John Paul Stevens.

Shelby's objections were similar to Sessions': that Kagan was wrong as dean to relocate military recruiters away from Harvard Law School's main career services office as a protest of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy for gays in the military, and a fear that her political beliefs would influence her judging.

"The right to bear arms is a fundamental right, and I do not believe Ms. Kagan's political record shows that she is prepared to uphold this core Constitutional guarantee," Shelby said in a prepared statement this afternoon.

"There is no empirical evidence to suggest that objective adherence to the U.S. Constitution will supplant her political beliefs in rendering judicial rulings on the nation's highest court," Shelby said.

Kagan is likely to be confirmed with strong Democratic support, as well as support from a handful of Republicans, before Congress breaks for its August recess.