McConnell weighs in on Petraeus, Kagan

06/23/2010 05:33 PM

Kentucky U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate minority leader, predicted swift confirmation of Gen. David Petraeus to replace Gen. Stanley McChrystal as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan on Wednesday.

But he expressed some doubt about President Barack Obama’s pick for the U.S. Supreme Court, Elena Kagan, the New York Times reported.

The newspaper reported that McConnell questioned Kagan’s her impartiality, specifically in reference to notes she wrote about campaign finance law changes that might affect Republicans but not Democrats.

“The recent release of documents relating to Ms. Kagan’s work in the Clinton White House reveals a woman who was committed to advancing a political agenda — a woman who was less concerned about objectively analyzing the law than the ways in which the law could be used to advance a political goal,” Mr. McConnell said.

“In other words,” he continued, “these memos and notes reveal a woman whose approach to the law was as a political advocate — the very opposite of what the American people expect in a judge.”

Mr. McConnell’s remarks, in a speech on the Senate floor, signaled that Republicans were scouring all of the available records about Ms. Kagan’s tenure in the Clinton White House and were ready to paint a portrait of her as overtly partisan, favoring Democrats and opposing Republicans in ways that could compromise her impartiality on the bench.

But McConnell praised the pick of Petraeus to replace McChrystal, whose tenure came to an abrupt end after he and his aides were quoted in a Rolling Stone article criticizing the Obama administration.

“His experience in carrying out at a counterinsurgency campaign in Iraq, when many questioned whether or not such a strategy could succeed, should provide a tremendous resource as he leads our forces in Afghanistan,” McConnell said. “Having known General Petraeus since his days serving at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, I have the utmost confidence in his leadership and I expect the Senate to quickly approve his nomination.”

- Ryan Alessi


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