The Kagan File: The “Abortion Connection Memo”
By Americans United for Life
Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

MEMORANDUM

To: [Undisclosed Parties]

From: Americans United for Life Legal Team

Date: May 12, 2010

Re: Abortion Groups’ Newest Advocate from the Bench?

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.  Rather, a Justice should apply the law as it is written to each case that arises before the Court.  In the past 40 years, certain Supreme Court Justices, in the name of a right to abortion, have imposed their pro-abortion views on the American people, denying Americans their right to decide this important issue through the legislative process.

President Obama has repeatedly stated a requirement for his Supreme Court pick would be someone who could interpret the Constitution as protecting abortion rights.  Will Solicitor Kagan objectively apply the Constitution or promote a pro-abortion agenda?

It seems unlikely.  Here’s why.

Kagan has contributed financially to the National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF), an organization whose goal, in its own words, is “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….”[1] Kagan “listed membership in” NPWF in a questionnaire she submitted in connection with her judicial nomination in 1999.[2]

Judith Lichtman, Senior Advisor for the NPWF, who believes “[e]fforts to limit coverage of abortion services are really attempts to deny women access to health care services,”[3] wrote a letter “wholeheartedly” supporting Kagan’s Solicitor General nomination, whom she describes as a “friend and colleague.”[4]

The NPWF also shares strong ties to Emily’s List, an organization that works to elect pro-abortion Democratic women to Congress, and NARAL Pro-Choice America (NARAL), an organization that advocates for increased access to abortion.  NPWF’s president, Debra Ness, serves on the Board of Directors of Emily’s List.  Prior to her position at NPWF, Ness was a high-ranking official with NARAL, where she worked to revitalize NARAL’s grassroots political capability and to make it a force in American electoral politics.

After President Obama announced Kagan as his Supreme Court pick, Ness stated that Americans lost a “powerful champion for justice” with the retirement of Justice Stevens (who was an ardent pro-abortion activist while on the court), but that Kagan “offers the promise that the nation will continue to benefit from having that kind of champion on its highest court.”[5]

The Chair of NPWF’s Board of Directors, Ellen Malcolm, not only served as the former president of Emily’s List, but was the founder of Emily’s List.  In addition to chairing the NPWF, Malcolm currently chairs the Board of Directors at Emily’s List. Emily’s List current president, Stephanie Schriock, “commended” Obama’s nomination of Kagan, saying that Obama had selected a “strong and independent” woman.[6]

The National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW), a self-proclaimed “early supporter of abortion rights,”[7] and an advocate for abortion rights both nationally and internationally, stated that it felt “comfortable about [Kagan’s] commitment to reproductive rights, to Roe v. Wade, and to stare decisis,” and were “confident about President Obama’s commitment to find a justice that would protect those rights.”[8] NCJW believes “the most basic requirement for a lifetime seat on the federal bench is a proven commitment to constitutional rights, including reproductive rights.”[9]

Conclusion:

The role of a Supreme Court Justice is not to usurp the role of legislatures and force upon the American people the Justice’s views on social justice and reproductive rights.  When a Justice begins to rule based on her own beliefs or those of a particular group, she fails in her duty to uphold the fundamental Constitutional principle of equal justice for all.

If Kagan is confirmed, the American people will continue to have a pro-abortion ideology imposed upon them by a life-time-appointed Justice.


[1] See http://www.nationalpartnership.org/site/PageServer?pagename=issues_repro.

[2] See http://judiciary.senate.gov/nominations/111thCongressExecutiveNominations/upload/Kagan-Public-Questionnaire.pdf.

[3] See http://blog.nationalpartnership.org/index.php/category/contributors/judith-lichtman/.

[4] See http://judiciary.senate.gov/nominations/111thCongressExecutiveNominations/upload/Kagan-Letters.pdf

[5] See http://www.scotusblog.com/national-partnership-for-women-families/.

[6] See http://emilyslist.org/blog/stephanie_schriock_kagan_a_strong_independent_and_intelligent_woman_for_the_bench/.

[7] See http://ncjw.org/media/PDFs/visionforamerica.pdf

[8] See http://www.ncjw.org/content_76.cfm?navID=26.

[9] See http://ncjw.org/media/PDFs/visionforamerica.pdf.

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