NEW YORK – Elena Kagan, President Obama’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, contributed financially to and was a listed member of an organization whose stated goal is to promote access to abortion services and blocks attempts to limit female “reproductive rights.”
Kagan’s listed herself as a member in the National Partnership for Women and Families, or NPWF, which seeks “to increase women’s access to … reproductive health services and block attempts to limit reproductive rights … and to give every woman access to … abortion services.”
Kagan admitted to her membership in a 1999 questionnaire she filled out as part of judicial nomination hearings that year.
Americans United For Life, a pro-life organization, notes NPWF senior advisor Judith Lichtman wrote a letter “wholeheartedly” supporting Kagan’s 2009 solicitor general nomination. In the letter, Lichtman describes Kagan as a “friend and colleague.”
“Americans’ lives are shaped and changed by the law, but a Supreme Court justice’s role is not to impact people’s lives by shaping or changing the law according to her own beliefs,” an Americans United for Life news release stated.
Kagan has no judicial record to point to her beliefs on key issues, but in 1991 she criticized a Supreme Court decision allowing the government to ban the use federal money for abortion.
Kagan termed the ban “government hostility toward some ideas.”
WND reported last week how Kagan argued government funds must not be granted to any religious organizations seeking to prevent teen pregnancies, since such groups may “inject” religious teaching.
However, WND has learned that when questioned during Senate hearings earlier this year about her argument – made in a 1987 legal brief – Kagan reversed course and called her own memo “the dumbest thing I ever read.”
“It would be difficult for any religious organization to participate in such projects without injecting some kind of religious teaching,” wrote Kagan in the brief.
She continued: “The government is of course right that religious organizations are different and that these differences are sometimes relevant for the purposes of government funding. … But when the government funding is to be used for projects so close to the central concerns of religion, all religious organizations should be off limits.”
Kagan authored the memo while clerking for Justice Thurgood Marshall. The case was filed in response to a Supreme Court decision that reversed a lower court ruling allowing religious groups that help prevent teen pregnancies to receive government funds through the Adolescent Family Life Act.
The case centered on a religiously affiliated group that provided pregnancy testing, adoption counseling, educational services and child care.
The Supreme Court had ruled the act did not require grantees be affiliated with religious groups, “although the act clearly does not rule out grants to religious organizations.”
Kagan, however, took issue with the Supreme Court to argue religious groups should never receive government funds under the act.
Her memo could have been a surefire point of controversy for her nomination to the Supreme Court.
However, asked about her memo in February 2009 Senate confirmation hearings for her nomination as solicitor general, she called her 1987 argument “the dumbest thing I ever read.”