Conflict of interest, anyone?
Kagan, who was Obama’s Solicitor General until getting appointed to the Supreme Court last year, was being invited to strategy sessions on Obamacare on the day of its passage. Now she’s going to be asked to judge its constitutionality on the Court.
Naturally, she’s not going to recuse herself.
On March 21, 2010, Katyal urged Kagan to attend a health care litigation meeting that was evidently organized by the Obama White House: “This is the first I’ve heard of this. I think you should go, no? I will, regardless, but feel like this is litigation of singular importance.”
In another email exchange that took place on January 8, 2010, Katyal’s Department of Justice colleague Brian Hauck asked Katyal about putting together a group to discuss challenges to Obamacare. “Could you figure out the right person or people for that?” Hauck asked. “Absolutely right on. Let’s crush them,” Katyal responded. “I’ll speak with Elena and designate someone.”
However, following the May 10, 2010, announcement that President Obama would nominate Kagan to the U.S. Supreme Court, Katyal position changed significantly as he began to suggest that Kagan had been “walled off” from Obamacare discussions…
“Any reasonable person would read these documents and come to the same conclusion: Elena Kagan helped coordinate the Obama administration’s defense of Obamacare. And as long as the Justice Department continues to withhold key documents, the American people won’t know for sure whether her involvement would warrant her recusal from any Obamacare litigation that comes before the High Court,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
Allahpundit at Hot Air has the timeline…
Just so we’re straight on the timeline here: On March 21, the day ObamaCare was passed, Katyal is inviting Kagan to strategy sessions about the new law. On April 9, John Paul Stevens resigns and speculation erupts about Kagan succeeding him. On May 17, Katyal is suddenly telling people that Kagan’s never been involved in anything — even though she is, in fact, the solicitor general of the United States and even though he explicitly invited her to a meeting about the law less than two months earlier — and Kagan is warning people via e-mail to make sure everyone has their story straight on what she knew by “coordinating.” Is that about right? I want to make sure we’re all square on this nonsense for when the mandate challenge finally reaches the Court and we’re told by her office that everything is magically copacetic.
This is a political disaster for the White House, one I’m not sure they quite understand. Naturally it’s not a surprise that Kagan had a potential conflict, but now there’s a paper trail showing it. And with a 60 percent share of the electorate wanting a repeal of Obamacare, the scandalous ballooning of the roster of “connected” entities getting waivers and two GOP candidates hanging themselves with the voters by failing to oppose Obamacare with significant vigor in one manner or another, the heat on this will only mount as the cases wind their way up to the Supremes. It’s entirely likely this will only be a larger controversy next year – when the president is up for re-election.
We’ve said here ad nauseam that Republicans need to continue pointing out how absolutely lawless this administration is. The flowering of the Kagan Conflict scandal these documents represents might be the best example yet – Obama appointed her to the Court not in spite of her conflict, but because of it. This is, as Joe Biden would say, a Big F*$king Deal.