CNS News, through its parent company the Media Research Center, is doing a job the State-Controlled Media ought to be doing: vigorously investigating Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan’s involvement in Obamacare. Their journalistic investigations (something the media would know nothing about) are producing evidence that suggests, at the very least, Kagan should recuse herself (something I called for immediately following the Court’s decision to hear the case here and here), and makes a compelling case for impeach as far as I’m concerned.
Here is the latest:
As solicitor general, Kagan’s job at that time was to defend the administration’s position on constitutional issues raised in federal courts. Was she aware of this serious national debate arising from an underlying constitutional issue confronting President Obama’s health-care legislation just days before the House was set to take it up?
On March 16, 2010, the day after McConnell’s op-ed ran in the Wall Street Journal, Kagan sent an email to David Barron, her former colleague at Harvard Law School, who was then the acting director of DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel. The Office of Legal Counsel, according to DOJ’s website, provides “authoritative legal advice to the President and all Executive Branch agencies.”
Solicitor General Elena Kagan’s email to acting Office of Legal Counsel Chief David Barron carried this subject line: “Health care q”
The text said: “Did you seee [sic] michael mcConnell piece in the wsj?”
Barron emailed back to Kagan: ‘YES—HE IS GETTING IT GOING.”
On March 17, 2010, the day after Kagan sent her email to OLC chief Barron alerting him to McConnell’s piece in the Wall Street Journal, her top deputy in the Office of Solicitor General, Neal Katyal, sent an email to Associate Attorney General Tom Perelli.
The subject line on Katyal’s email was: “Health Care.”
“Tom, I recall you were going to set up a group to deal with the inevitable challenges to this legislation,” Katyal wrote. “Now that this may be coming back, I wanted to circle back and see if you still are developing such a litigation group.”
Eight minutes later, Perrelli responded to Katyal: “Neal—I tabled it when things looked bleak, but we should do it. I’ll get something together in the next week.”
The next day, March 18, 2010, Katyal extended the email chain by responding to Perrelli and carbon copying the messages to his own boss, Elena Kagan. This new email was all about the Levin-Landmark Legal Foundation draft complaint against the prospective health-care law. It noted some of Katyal’s initial analysis of the anticipated constitutional challenge.
The subject line was now: “RE: Health Care.”
“Tom, I was just looking at the draft complaint by Landmark Legal Foundation,” Katyal wrote to Perrelli and Kagan. “It is clearly written to be filed when the House approves the reconciliation bill and before the President signs it. See paras 15-17.”
The email then includes a link to the text of the complaint posted on the website of the Landmark Legal Foundation.
“Also para 27 says the action is being brought before it is signed by President so that no expectations of regularity can be asserted, etc.” wrote Katyal.
“As such we could be in court very soon,” he wrote.
“In light of this, for what its worth,” Katyal continued to Perrelli and Kagan, “my advice (I haven’t discussed this with Elena, but I am cc’ing her here) would be that we start assembling a response, [here about three-quarters of a line of text is redacted] so that we have it ready to go. They obviously have their piece ready to go, and I think it’d be great if we are ahead of the ball game here.”
Now let’s go back to Kagan’s confirmation process:
Then, during Kagan’s Supreme Court confirmation process four months later, Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee asked her in writing if she had “ever been asked about your opinion” or “offered any view or comments” on the “the underlying legal or constitutional issues related to any proposed health care legislation, including but not limited to Pub. L. No. 111-148 [PPACA], or the underlying legal or constitutional issues related to potential litigation resulting from such legislation?”
Kagan answered both questions: “No.”
How is that not perjury?
She should be impeached immediately in my opinion. Of course, she won’t be impeached and she probably won’t be forced to recuse herself. After all, she even has former Republican officials supporting her. Read what former Bush Attorney General Michael Mukasey wrote about Kagan last week in the Wall Street Journal:
But upon even a cursory examination of the facts it is clear that neither justice should step aside. The court we have should decide the case.
Justice Kagan served as solicitor general in the Obama Justice Department before she was nominated to the bench. The solicitor general heads the small team of lawyers who represent the federal government before the Supreme Court, and coordinates and controls the government’s litigation positions in the various federal courts of appeal and occasionally even in district courts.
Although critics have portrayed Justice Kagan during her tenure as a “cheerleader” for the health-care bill, and although she did send an email to a former faculty colleague that applauded the legislation, the solicitor general ordinarily is not called on to advise on issues of constitutionality of proposed legislation; that task usually falls to the Office of Legal Counsel. There has been no evidence that she acted personally in her official capacity as solicitor general in connection with any issue in the case.
A Beltway Republican at his finest!
Rest assured, I will not relent on my insisting Kagan recuse herself, and I will continue to call for her impeachment.