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Today in Washington, May 14, 2010

The Elena Kagan nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court is still in the early stages, but problems are emerging.  Meet and greets for Kagan completed Day 2 and more one-on-one meetings are expected in the days ahead.  Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Scott Brown (R-MA) sounded like supporters of Kagan after one-on-one meetings and had nice things to say about the nominee.  Maybe they don’t even know that Kagan has a gun problem?

The Senate will continue debate on Financial Services Deform, but no votes are scheduled until Monday.  The House has no votes scheduled for today.  No committee work is scheduled in the House or Senate today.

The issues to watch in Washington are:

  • Elena Kagan Dislikes Guns- Elena Kagan is no fan of the 2nd Amendment.  Let’s review the evidence.  First, we have been presented evidence of a statement in 1987 that as a law clerk, Kagan gave a personal opinion, not based in any legal theory, that she had no “sympathy” for a man who claimed his 2nd Amendment rights to carry a firearm was violated.  Bloomberg reports that ” Elena Kagan said as a U.S. Supreme Court law clerk in 1987 that she was ‘not sympathetic’ toward a man who contended that his constitutional rights were violated when he was convicted for carrying an unlicensed pistol.” Second, the L.A. Times reports that Kagan drafted an anti-gun executive order for President Bill Clinton.  “According to records at the William J. Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., she also drafted an executive order restricting the importation of certain semiautomatic assault rifles.” Third, Kagan negotiated another agenda item of the left to put child-safety locks on guns.  “Gun-control efforts were a hallmark of the Clinton administration.”  Fourth, again according to the L.A. Times, Kagan “had already been involved in an executive order that required all federal law enforcement officers to install locks on their weapons.” And finally, fifth, according to Hans Von Spakovsky at NROnline, Kagan refused to file a brief in the gun case, McDonald v. Chicago, even though a federal interest is involved in the case.  “Yet in her capacity as solicitor general, Elena Kagan decided notto file a brief or participate in what may be the most important Second Amendment case in our nation’s history — and potentially the most important constitutional law case of any type this decade.”  I probably have missed other issues, but the Kagan nomination is merely a week old and five incidents have been presented as evidence to the court of public opinion to support the charge that Elena Kagan is guilty of opposing the individual right of Americans to own and carry a firearm.  The conservatives will present this evidence and the burden is on Kagan to prove that she is not hostile to the 2nd Amendment.  Kagan better put on a solid defense or she maybe sentenced to serve out the remaining 2 and one half years as Solicitor General of the Obama Administration.
  • Bipartisan Filibuster of Financial Services Reform Possible - Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is getting ready to filibuster the ObamaBailout bill because he feels that progressive amendments have not been given due consideration in the process.  According to the Daily Kos, “Byron Dorgan is going to go out with a bang, and if he succeeds, the country will be better for it. On Wednesday, he gave a blistering floor speech hitting the weaknesses in the base Wall Street reform bill, particularly on breaking up too big to fail banks and credit default swap regulation.”  Conservatives also don’t like the bill, because there are no provisions dealing with crony capitalism at Fannie and Freddie, nor are there sufficient protections for taxpayers against future bailouts.  Senator John McCain’s (R-AZ) amendment to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, failed on a 43-56 vote.  There may be a bipartisan filibuster of this bill next week and members may want a few more days to consider amendments to the bill.

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