Tag: Elena Kagan

Justice Kagan Should Recuse Herself from Obamacare Case

This spring the U.S. Supreme Court will decide what may well be the case of the century — the constitutional challenge to Obamacare. But will the case be heard by eight or nine justices?

Before the health care law was even passed, the Department of Justice had been meeting to develop a strategy for defending the law from constitutional attack. Involved in this effort was none other than Elena Kagan, now the newest Obama appointee to the Supreme Court.

Federal law requires Supreme Court justices to recuse from a case if they had earlier “participated as counsel” in the case. Justice Kagan did just that when she was Obama’s solicitor general, but has never explained why she believes she is nevertheless justified in sitting on the case under this standard.

One simply can’t be the coach and referee in the same game. At best, knowing the playbook will color your judgment, and at worst, you’ll be on the lookout for chances to give your former team an advantage.

Here are the facts. It took two lawsuits to get “the most transparent administration in history” to release emails detailing Kagan’s involvement in the Obamacare defense. Those emails show that, in a highly unusual move, she ordered her staff to become involved in the defense before the law was even passed.

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