June 4th, 2010
by Jan Crawford, CBS News
Elena Kagan has kept her cards so close to the vest that in the days after President Obama nominated her to the Supreme Court, some on the left worried she was too moderate to replace liberal Justice John Paul Stevens.
But in documents obtained by CBS News, Kagan–while working as a law clerk to the late Justice Thurgood Marshall – made her positions clear on some of the nation’s most contentious social issues.
The documents, buried in Marshall’s papers in the Library of Congress, show Kagan standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the liberal left, at a time when the Rehnquist Supreme Court was moving to the conservative right.
They also provide a remarkably candid picture of her opinions, including on the most controversial issue Supreme Court nominees ever confront: abortion.
Although Kagan’s confirmation has thus far been an all but foregone conclusion, sources say these documents will give Republicans a few cards of their own to mount a strong fight against her.
And they will only heighten demands for more information on her views–including interest in her papers in the Clinton Library. Some of the Clinton Library documents, which cover her time working in that administration, could be released as early as Friday.