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Begich Meets with Supreme Court Nominee Kagan

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich today met for about half an hour with Elena Kagan, the U.S. Solicitor General nominated by President Obama to fill the pending vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court. Sen. Begich issued this statement after the cordial meeting:

"I found Solicitor General Kagan well informed, keenly interested in Alaska issues and if she's confirmed, anxious to visit the 49th state at my invitation. We discussed a number of issues of specific interest to Alaskans, including the Second Amendment right of Americans to bear arms, personal privacy rights, the Exxon Valdez oil spill case and unique issues facing Alaska Native people, such as subsistence.

"Ms. Kagan expressed her support for Second Amendment rights which has recently been confirmed by the Court in the Heller case involving the District of Columbia. She expressed sympathy with the plight of thousands of Alaskans harmed by the Exxon Valdez spill and the more than 20 years it took to finally resolve claims over the spill.

"Ms. Kagan was interested to hear that Alaska is one of the few states with a privacy provision in our state's Constitution and she noted a number of amendments to the U.S. Constitution which protect Americans' privacy. Ms. Kagan also was keenly interested in unique Alaska fishing and hunting issues and our state's subsistence preference for rural Alaskans.

"In coming weeks, I'll be closely following Ms. Kagan's participation before the Senate Judiciary Committee and her answers to questions I know are of special interest to Alaskans. I take very seriously my responsibility to thoroughly examine candidates for the highest court in the land."

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