President Obama’s Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan will be having a one-on-one meeting today with Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley at his U.S. Capitol office. Grassley is the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which will conduct Kagan’s confirmation hearing later this month.
“We all know that the Constitution gives the Senate a very special responsibility of reviewing judicial nominations made by the president,” Grassley says. “Particularly, lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court is probably one of the most highly-charged responsibilities we have.” Grassley says one of his duties in meeting with a Supreme Court nominee is to make sure the candidate understands his or her role in government, and understands the law as it’s written, without letting personal feelings interfere.
Grassley says, “Miss Kagan does not have any experience as a judge, so the committee needs to conduct a comprehensive and in-depth examination of all of her writings, speeches, other documentation, to assess her judicial philosophy and, of course, fitness to serve as a justice.” When Kagan appears before the Senate Judiciary Committee on June 28th, it will be a closely-watched national media event, but Grassley notes the 1 P.M. (Central time) conversation today will be private.
Grassley says, “Today’s meeting in my office will be less formal than the committee hearing that will begin in three weeks, but it’s the first opportunity I’ll have to directly ask questions of this nominee and get to know her better.” Grassley says today’s conversation will be relatively light, in comparison. He says he’ll plan to talk with Kagan publicly during the hearing about several issues, including her views on property rights and the Second and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution — the right to keep and bear arms, and the divisions between state and federal powers.