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Murkowski Remarks on Nomination of Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court

WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today spoke from the Senate floor on her opposition to Elena Kagan's nomination to the Supreme Court. The following are excerpts from Sen. Murkowski's speech and her entire remarks, as prepared for delivery, are attached.

On Elena Kagan's failure to answer questions on the Second Amendment in her confirmation hearings:

"The conclusion I draw from all of this is that Ms. Kagan is at best uninterested in the Second Amendment at this point in her career. At worst, she is unsympathetic to the millions of Americans, who like this Senator, believe that the Second Amendment is one of the most important of our Constitutional liberties. On this basis alone, I cannot support her lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land."

On Elena Kagan's lack of judicial experience:

"If confirmed to serve on the Supreme Court, Elena Kagan will be one of the least experienced Supreme Court Justices in our Nation's history. It is often observed that one need not have judging experience to sit on the Supreme Court. But all of the Supreme Court justices who did not have judging experience had extensive courtroom litigation experience. Elena Kagan has neither."

On Elena Kagan's use of International and Foreign law:

"I am also concerned about the deference that a Justice Kagan might give to international law in interpreting the Constitution and laws of the United States.  Perhaps there is a limited role for the consideration of international or foreign law when the issues posed in the case unavoidably turn on the interpretation of a treaty or a foreign law.  But unlike Ms. Kagan I would not think that a federal judge at any level should cite foreign or international law in its decision simply because that judge is open to "good ideas wherever they come."

On the future composition of the U.S. Supreme Court:

"I welcome the fact that this administration has substantially increased the representation of women on the high court. Yet it is of greater significance to me that the administration has not increased the representation of people from the West or from rural backgrounds on the court....If Elena Kagan is confirmed, six of the nine Supreme Court Justices will be from the Northeast United States, and only three law schools of the 199 law schools accredited by the American Bar Association will be represented on the high court."

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