Wednesday, May 12, 2010

SCOTUS Nominee Kagan's Coddling Of The Saudis

From Infidel Bloggers Alliance, citing Weasel Zippers:

Arlen Specter accused Kagan of “coddling the Saudis”…

PHILADELPHIA — At a time when the ideal Supreme Court nominee comes coated in Teflon, the better to fend off partisan attacks, Elena Kagan has a pretty good resume.

She has never served as a judge and her writings reveal little about how she would rule on the most ideologically divisive issues of the day. The absence of any meaningful paper trail, apart from things such as her decision as Harvard Law School dean to ban military recruiters, makes her less of a target.

Yet there is one legal case in Kagan’s background that to a small group of litigants constitutes a profound distortion of justice, a slap in the face that they say stings even now, one year later.

And they contend the Senate Judiciary Committee should keep this case in mind, painful though it may be to revisit the matter, as it reviews Kagan’s nomination in the coming weeks.

It was on May 29 of last year that Kagan — as U.S. solicitor general — filed legal papers with the Supreme Court urging it not to hear arguments in a lawsuit against the government of Saudi Arabia brought by thousands of family members and other victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Days later, the Supreme Court rejected the case, following the lead of the solicitor general, as it often does in deciding whether to weigh in on a matter.

The Supreme Court decision effectively let stand lower-court rulings that the Saudi government and senior members of the Saudi royal family could not be sued by U.S. citizens — even if the plaintiffs had shown that millions of dollars in Saudi government money went to bankroll al-Qaida in the years leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks.

“We were terribly disappointed with her ruling,” said Beverly Burnett, of Northfield, Minn., whose son, Tom, perished on United Flight 93 when it went down near Shanksville, Pa. “We had hoped she would be with us so that we could have our day in court.”

What Burnett and many others desperately want to know is why, after evidence that some believe points to Saudi government responsibility for the attacks, they so far have been barred by U.S. courts from having their case heard. And why the Obama administration argued, through Kagan, that their case should not be heard.

Burnett and the other plaintiffs alleged in lawsuits brought by several law firms, including the Philadelphia firm of Cozen O’Connor P.C., that for years the Saudi government funded Islamist charities that in turn supplied money and logistical support to al-Qaida fighters in the Balkans and southeast Asia.

The plaintiffs charged that the Saudis continued to finance the charities even after U.S. officials on two occasions warned the money was being used to support terrorist operations.

Because of long-standing economic, military and diplomatic ties between the two countries, the litigation was sensitive for both the Obama administration and Saudis.

The Saudis complained in court papers that the lawsuits had upset relations between the two countries. And, as Kaganlast year weighed what position to take in the Supreme Court appeal, plaintiffs’ lawyers lobbied the administration to decide in their favor.

It didn’t work.

Kagan’s amicus brief, which said such lawsuits would interfere with U.S. foreign policy, and the ensuing Supreme Court decision, prompted Sen. Arlen Specter, D-Pa., to introduce legislation that would amend the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. The law was cited as a reason for ruling against the plaintiffs. Specter sought to make clear that U.S. citizens can sue foreign governments that finance acts of terrorism, even in politically delicate situations.

Specter, who was joined by co-sponsors Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., was blunt in his criticism of Kagan. He contended that the Obama administration urged the Supreme Court not to hear the case because the litigation had become an irritant to U.S.-Saudi relations.

Of Kagan, he said, “She wants to coddle the Saudis.”

Specter had earlier voted against her nomination to be solicitor general because, he said, she had ducked questions during her confirmation hearings on the Saudi litigation and other matters.
The lamestream media and their various cohorts aren't talking much about the above, are they?

In addition, Kagan supports extended executive-branch power:
...[M]uch of the Obama Administration’s progressive agenda is being carried out through the administrative apparatus that has been in place for some time. This has included, but certainly not limited to, using the IRS as an enforcer of healthcare reform, increased regulatory power of health insurance to the Department of Health and Human Services, new regulations for Wall Street (and Main Street), as well as new EPA regulations on carbon dioxide. While there has been opposition and public scrutiny on these maneuvers, the challenge to this agenda has not (and will not) only originate from the political arena, but also from the courts. With new FCC regulations on the internet and potential cap and trade legislation around the corner, Elena Kagan will be an incredible ally for the Obama Administration on the highest court in the United States.

Kagan has argued, as early as 2001, for increased presidential authority in the decision making process of administrative regulation...
Be sure to read it all, including THIS at Discover the Networks.

Kagan's appointment to the United States Supreme Court won't really change the tone of this particular court at this time. But when Justice Ginsburg, who has been ill recently, leaves....

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posted by Always On Watch @ 5/12/2010 06:05:00 AM