Friday, July 2, 2010

Kagan Hearings: Election-Year Sound Bites

Five members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are running for re-election this year: Senators Coburn, Feingold, Grassley, Leahy, and Schumer.  (Senator Specter was also running, but was defeated in the primary.)  Below are statements by some of these members, made in the Kagan hearings, that mentioned their constituents, i.e., may make good campaign sound bites.  It should be noted that others, including Senators Hatch and Feinstein, also specifically mentioned their constituents.

Leahy (D-VT): "I'm a gun owner, as are many people in Vermont, and I agreed with the Heller decision."  (6/29/10).

Coburn (R-OK): "[Solicitor General Kagan], you're different than me and you're different than many of the people that I represent."  Also, "you have a very different belief system than most of the people . . . where I come from."  (6/29/10).

Feingold (D-WI): "[A]t a recent town hall meeting I held in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, one of my constituents asked why nominees to the Supreme Court always seem to be from the East Coast, when we have plenty of fine candidates in the Midwest?  How will you strive to understand the effects of the Supreme Court's decisions in the lives of millions of Americans who don't live on the East Coast or in our biggest cities?" 

Incidentally, Kagan responded by asking, "[D]oes it count that I lived in Chicago for some period of my life?"  To which Feingold replied, "Getting closer."  (6/29/10).